Zen and the art of Bicycle Therapy or “Look no Hands”: empowering vulnerable young people to build their own futures through bicycle maintenance
PHE ePoster Library. Crockett R. Sep 12, 2019; 274365; 170
Roddy Crockett
Roddy Crockett
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Abstract
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Abstract BackgroundA cycling project in Brighton, Sussex aimed at young people aged 10 – 16 at risk of exclusion has doubled their attendances at mainstream and specialist school. A needs-led, solution focused approach centered on building self-esteem and independent thinking through bicycle maintenance has decreased exclusions and improved safeguarding outcomes for participants. The “work has brought out the best in their abilities and most importantly made them feel good about themselves - and made them want to come to school”, (Primary School Governor) .MethodAfter developing rapport with the young people the mental health facilitator enables the young person to learn the skills to turn discarded bicycles into gifts for others. Personal conversations mirror the regeneration process and help self-reflection. Young people are empowered to become a workforce that benefits others by running maintenance and training sessions for their peers. This gives them social capital which is especially important on arrival at new schools. Costs are low.
Results
Attendances have doubled. Exclusions reduced by 29%. Over 80% of participants report increased self-esteem and confidence. Mental health professionals, teachers and social workers report significant increases in self-esteem, self-care and anger management.
Conclusion
Disaffected young people are more likely to stay in school after engaging with this project. Developing skills to create a machine that epitomises freedom captures disaffected pupils' attention. Children's lives are turned around. “This is the only thing he engages in at school “, Secondary SENCO. External funding details Public Health Team - Brighton and Hove City Council
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