Teenagers learn to get on their bikes

FOUR teenagers from Ipswich were given the chance to learn all about motorbikes recently through a government funded social inclusion project.The 'Ride for Life' project is a 12-week intensive course designed by NACRO, a voluntary national organisation working to prevent crime.

FOUR teenagers from Ipswich were given the chance to learn all about motorbikes recently through a government funded social inclusion project.

The 'Ride for Life' project is a 12-week intensive course designed by NACRO, a voluntary national organisation working to prevent crime.

Recognising the benefits of the course, which is aimed at young people at risk of offending, the government funded programme Positive Futures decided to get involved with the scheme.

The Suffolk branch of Positive Futures then selected four teenagers from the Ipswich area, Scott Thomas-Busby, Kyle Abbott, Michael Newson, all 15, and Harry Lyne, 16, to take part in the course after they had been recommended by pupil referral units and social services.

The course involved a mock CBT test, lessons on mechanics, and will culminate in a final race day between the students in the New Year.

The pupils have been required to keep a folder of their progress and, if they complete all the units to the required standard, will receive qualifications for their work.

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Project worker for Positive Futures Suffolk, Paul Knight said: “The course has been really successful. All four of the young people turned up to every session, completed their course work and are expected to gain the qualification. All of them want to go on and gain further qualifications and pursue a career as motorcycle mechanics.”

Scott Thomas-Busby, one of the young people on the course, said: “I just loved the course and learnt so much, not just about riding, but also fixing and understanding how all the parts worked.

“It was a chance in a lifetime for me because I have always loved bikes and now I can go on to apply for college and learn more.”

Knight said: “One of the main things about the course was making them safer on the roads when they inevitably all want to get bikes at 16-years-old.

“We talked them through all the dangers of the road and even put them through a mock CBT test. The carrot at the end is the race day in which they will have chance to race against each other at Suffolk Moto Park in January.

“I think this course has given them all that extra boost in life. It's got them thinking about where they are going next after school.”

Since its launch by the government in 2002, Positive Futures has worked with more than 100,000 young people. In 2006 the Home Office commissioned Crime Concern to take over the management of the funding.

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