Corrections is helping to get families on their bikes by working with the Dunedin City Council to set up a ‘Bike Library’.

Members of the public can donate their second hand bikes by dropping them off at Dunedin South Community Probation. A bicycle mechanic will train offenders on Community Work sentences to fix them up and a local bike shop has volunteered to quality check a sample of the completed bikes on an on-going basis.

The first phase of the project involves a bike safety training session at a local school. Children who gain a ‘bike licence’ will have the choice of borrowing a bike for a couple of months, after which, they can keep the bike by making a nominal donation to the Council.

Bikes will also be made available to adults who are related to children using borrowed bikes.

“This is a project which benefits everyone involved,” says Coyla Cameron, Community Probation Service Manager.

“The children get to learn bike safety skills and have access to a bike they may not have been able to afford otherwise. Offenders get to learn a new skill and give back to their community.”

Given the increased popularity of cycling and the Council’s investment in cycle lanes and tracks around the city, bicycle repair may become a viable employment option for some offenders.

The children of offenders who are students at participating South Dunedin schools may also benefit from their family member’s new found skills.

Through it’s involvement in the project, Corrections hopes to support the Council to get more families onto bikes and to support offenders to develop skills and good work habits that will help them to contribute constructively to their community.

 Repairs on donated bikes underway.