Stephen Milne, supervisor Scott Buckley and Tony Robinson show off some of the work done through the CHESS bike recycling program.
Stephen Milne, supervisor Scott Buckley and Tony Robinson show off some of the work done through the CHESS bike recycling program. Adam Hourigan

New push for old pushies

CLARENCE Valley residents who want to get rid of that old bicycle gathering dust in the shed can do so in the knowledge they are sending it off to a far better place.

Clarence Valley employment agency CHESS is looking for old bicycles that it can either refurbish or cannibalise for spare parts as it ramps up its bicycle repair initiative for a six-week pre-employment program.

Grafton CHESS manager Jock McNamara said the program – which has been running in the Clarence Valley for most of 2010 – has been able to produce a steady stream of bikes for its clients.

“The next round of programs has been opened up for other job service providers to place participants under the supervision of CHESS and (bike mechanic) Scott Buckley, who will work with and teach them bike repair skills, basic garden maintenance, working with others in order to improve their chances of finding work,” he said.

Mr McNamara said two success stories from the program have been Steve Milne and Tony Robinson, two ex-mechanics who have been out of the workforce for long periods due to illness and injuries.

“They are now Scott's right-hand men,” Mr McNamara said.

“They look forward to coming over twice a week, rekindling their mechanical skills and helping the other participants as they come through.”

Mr McNamara said CHESS had been sourcing old bikes from a number of different areas, including private donations, the local tip and even the police lost property department.

“People who want to donate bikes can ring Scott on 0424301645. He can arrange to pick up any bikes,” he said.



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