We were so, so very lucky to be one of two high schools to get the Bike Rescue program in our school. Bike Rescue is a program that is conducted by Dismantle in school. Dismantle is a local organisation enabling and empowering vulnerable young people to live their life in a self-directed way.
Dismantle’s BikeRescue is a ten-session mentor and engagement program for 10 students disguised as an intense bike mechanic course.
Guided by Dismantle’s Mechanic Mentors, students will combine effort to fully strip and rebuild five bicycles for charity, then work independently to restore a second bike for themselves, with each participant getting their own bike at the end of the program.
Due to a mix up, a lack of communication, we ended up with 11 boys on the first day.The mentors were very good and got everyone working.
The first week students put 5 bikes up on the bike stands and dismantled them. The boys labelled the parts, stored them safely in a tub and bucket. The boys then sanded the bikes and repainted them.
These bikes were then rebuilt the following week. The challenge was to put the bikes back with no bits left over. According to the youth mentors, week 2 is the most challenging as it is fiddly and still new.
Week 3 saw the boys choosing a bike for themselves and stripping it down, sanding and repainting it. A couple of students chose to leave their bike frame unpainted but painted the forks. The colours that were chosen included red and others were red with multiple other colours over the top of the red.They do look very good.
This program incorporates all of the principles of Act Belong Commit. The boys are being active, working outside and using their brain, learning different skills to what they would attending normal classes. They belong to this Dismantle group for the five weeks it is running and the commit part is the stripping back and rebuilding five bikes for charity as well as learning new things and stepping up to a challenge. The boys may not know it but they are actively looking after their own mental health and happiness by participating.
Part of the program is informal chats with the mentors/mechanics so it may look like there is no work being done, there is lots going on below the surface!
Our numbers have settled to 8 boys in year 9 and 10. Here is a photo of some of the group at the end of week 3. I can't wait to see the bikes at the end of the program. In the words of the boys the bikes are looking "gangster" and they are not finished! :)
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