Green Bike Project 'delighted' with progress for new workshop

New CEO of Genesis Orwell Mencap Rob Hart in Ipswich

New CEO of Genesis Orwell Mencap Rob Hart in Ipswich - Credit: Jessica Coppins

Progress is being made on a 'new large facility' for the Green Bike Project, which provides work-based support to adults with disabilities. 

Plans have been submitted to Ipswich Borough Council to build a new workshop building for the project that works to repair and recycle bicycles. 

The proposed workshop on Wright Road will replace the currently used converted shipping container, which is described as "cold, cramped and not fit for purpose".

The shipping container currently being used as a bike workshop

The workshop is currently located in a shipping container on Wright Road - Credit: Genesis Orwell Mencap

Established by charity Genesis Orwell Mencap in 2008, the Green Bike Project worked out of Holywells Park until the pandemic hit and the activity was relocated nearer to the charity's main facility on Wright Road. 

It welcomes four service users per day to help repair the bikes, learning skills they can take into employment if they choose. 

The bikes are then sold to the public, with profits subsidising the costs of support so that care is more accessible to all.

Rob Hart, chief executive of Genesis Orwell Mencap, said: "We are delighted to be progressing the building of a new large facility for the Genesis Green Bike Project.

New CEO of Genesis Orwell Mencap Rob Hart in Ipswich

New CEO of Genesis Orwell Mencap Rob Hart in Ipswich - Credit: Jessica Coppins

 

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"The workshop will enable us to have a 120% increase in the number of service users on site and ensure we support many more adults with disabilities keen to learn life skills, repairing push bikes.  

"The support we have received from the Ipswich Round Table has been immense in making this happen and we are so grateful that they are helping us to help others."

Service users were excited for the new workshop, which will mean that more people can access the project to benefit their health and wellbeing. 

Thomas Reilly, 24, said: "When we have a bigger workshop we can get more bikes in, so we can sell more bikes. We love doing the bikes up and meeting new people." 

And 57-year-old John Smith added: "The new workshop will have a toilet so we don't have to walk as far." 

The proposal for the new workshop sees improved accessibility, creating spaces for wheelchair users and specialist bike equipment to allow service users to get even more out of the time spent at the project.

A man stands outside the Green Bike Project shipping container giving a thumbs up

Service user Thomas gives a thumbs up to the Green Bike Project - Credit: Genesis Orwell Mencap