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An unfunded bicycle refurbishment project run by TaskForce in partnership with the Salvation and Victoria Police is changing lives in Frankston.

Clients at the Frankston North Bike Project recently salvaged and refurbished their first set of 20 bicycles that were destined for the scrap heap and donated them back to the community. The majority of the bicycles were refurbished by people who are on community work orders through Corrections Victoria. The program is facilitated by a volunteer bicycle mechanic and supported by a youth worker.

Danny Alcock, Executive Manager Projects and Partnerships said: “The program has already had some inspiring outcomes.

“One client told me how he took home a bike he refurbished and, for the first time ever, was able to go for a bike ride with his 8- and 6-year-old children. You could see he was so proud.

“Another client built a bike which allowed him to accept a job through TaskForce’s JVES (Jobs Victoria Employment Services) program and is now in full time work.”

The program is running from the Salvation Army community centre in Frankston North in a partnership involving TaskForce, the Salvation Army and Victoria Police.

TaskForce Executive Manager Danny Alcock said: “We also have a small group of students from Foundation Learning Centre coming in for two hours on a Tuesday.

“This group is mostly girls aged between 14 and 17 and they are loving the hands on approach and learning the mechanics of bikes and how to service them.”

“My plan is to feedback information to the program participants so they get to see where their work is going and know that it is making a difference out in the community.”

Danny said the program was ready to donate more bikes to families in the community and always looking for community donations of old bikes.

Danny said that the Frankston North Bike Project is currently unfunded and it would be great to get some government support for a program that is changing the lives of those who refurbish the bicycles and also those who get to receive the bikes.