A WORKSHOP leader from Access Bikes in Stroud has bagged the Young Person of the Year award, after making an incredible contribution to the mental and physical health of young people in the area.

Alfie Stephens claimed the award after his work for the Access Bikes Project, which is a ground-breaking community initiative that provides young disadvantaged people with bikes.

A team member who works with the project discussed how Access Bikes have only recently celebrated their second birthday – despite achieving so much success.

“The second birthday party was brilliant, both in selling bikes and attracting new people to the project,” explained Robin.

“Despite the damp conditions we raised £900, ate a ridiculous amount of cake and were joined by all the amazing volunteers who make the project so special.”

To top of their achievements, the project only recently went up for a Pride of the Cotswolds Award, where they celebrated their achievements with Forest Green Rovers owner, Dale Vince.

The scheme teaches young people aged 13 to 24 how to repair and recondition their bikes.

Once trained, they help volunteers to repair donated bikes which are then given to children from poorer backgrounds.

In fact, over the first couple of years Access Bikes have helped more than one hundred secondary school teens get themselves a bike – along with all the riding gear.

However, before long the project suffered a few hiccups, as not all the kids could afford to get their bikes fixed and many did not know how to look after them.

So, Alfie and the team-taught kids how to fix their own bikes, whilst providing a safe and inclusive space where they can find the tools to fix their bike.

From this point, they have gone onto recycle bicycle rims, spokes, hubs and other assorted bike part as part of a push towards upcycling, there is a real emphasis on turning waste into art.

They are now even recycling rubber, by turning it into belts made from used bicycle tyres.

The belts are incredibly durable and provide extra protection for the rider.

“Anyone who is up for the challenge is welcome to come into the workshop and learn to make them,” said Alfie.

Today, the Access Bike Project is located at Unit 2a in Fromehall Mill, Stroud – all who wish to get involved with the team are welcome to visit.