RAD charity making sure kids get a bike for Christmas
Children who would have gone without will have a brighter Christmas thanks to the efforts of a Christchurch charitable trust.
RAD Bikes, named for its ability to "recycle a dunger", refurbished 18 bicycles at the weekend – with the help of volunteers – to be donated to needy families through children's charity Barnardos.
Coordinator Jess Smale said it was the first time the team had put such an event together, and the group was not planning to stop there.
"This charity fix-up is the first of six that we're committed to, to fit in with the current funding we've been given that runs out next September."
People were invited to take their "dunger" into RAD's Kilmore St workshop at the weekend, with some people both bringing in their old bike and sticking around to fix it up.
"About six turned up on the day . . . members of the public turning up with bikes to fix up and give away, including a really sweet little girl – who would've been about 6 – who brought her bike that she'd grown out of and gave it to another little girl.
"Barnardos have taken the bikes and they'll distribute them . . . It was a nice opportunity for people to see that they could come down any time and tinker and be a part of [RAD Bikes]."
The charitable trust, originally formed out of the Gap Filler initiative, would likely wait until after the Christmas break to host the next fix-up, Smale said.
"We'll have to kind of replenish our stock and look at our stock and we find it works quite well if we see a particular type of bike starting to accumulate.
"We go from there to try and find the appropriate charity to match it up with."
She said the group had also set up a network with others working to recycle bicycles for similar causes, so nothing donated went to waste.
"There's another one that works with the re-integration of ex-prisoners and there's also a guy who builds crazy frankenstein bikes, so there's several channels."
Funding from the Rata Foundation and Christchurch City Council's Strengthening Communities Fund had gone towards keeping a temporary administrator on staff and would cover costs associated with each of the charity fix-ups.
The group posted to its Facebook page to keep people updated if they were interested in donating time or an old bike in the future.
"If people want to be a part of the fixing, that's awesome. If people just have bikes out there that they're willing to pass on then we'd love that too."
More information about the RAD Bikes can be found at facebook.com/radbikes