Bike scheme to help young

PUBLISHED: 10:52 13 July 2007 | UPDATED: 21:45 29 May 2010

From left, Lucy Jackson from Rainer, Z-bike user Scott Potter from Thaxted and BAA community executive Valda Edmunds. Picture:SUBMITTED

From left, Lucy Jackson from Rainer, Z-bike user Scott Potter from Thaxted and BAA community executive Valda Edmunds. Picture:SUBMITTED

BAA Stansted has pledged £50,000 to a charity that helps young people in isolated parts of west Essex reach further education, training or employment. Essex-based charity Rainer loans mopeds to youngsters struggling to hold down a vocational opportunity

BAA Stansted has pledged £50,000 to a charity that helps young people in isolated parts of west Essex reach further education, training or employment.

Essex-based charity Rainer loans mopeds to youngsters struggling to hold down a vocational opportunity because of transport problems.

The 'Z-Bikes' programme, set up with Uttlesford District Council, is open to people between the ages of 16 and 24 who can show they really need a bike and can accept the responsibilities that go with it.

Youngsters hoping to borrow a moped must undertake a training programme. They are then fitted with protective safety equipment and granted the use of a moped at a low cost for up to nine months.

Team leader at Rainer Essex, Diana Cross, said: "Finding that first job or training placement is hard enough for any young person, but for those without reliable transport links it can be almost impossible.

"The Z-Bikes Scheme makes a huge difference in a young person's life by opening up many opportunities.

"We have been told by young people's parents that having to pay for and service the bike gives them a real sense of responsibility and independence."

The moped loan service helps youngsters complete their training course or take on a job, while they organise long term transport plans.

During the loan, the young person is responsible for the moped's up-keep and must service it monthly.

The 'Z-Bikes' scheme has proved successful as most youngsters have been able to complete their training and secure a job.

Valda Edmunds, community executive for Stansted Airport, said: "Stansted Airport is committed to helping young people into training and employment. We are delighted to be able to assist in the funding for this worthwhile local project, which is just one of a number of community initiatives we are supporting."

To find out more about the scheme visit the website www.raineronline.org

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