A group of Havant Borough volunteers led by Anne Sayer recently tested the need for cycle repair, training and community cycling support at six pop-up ‘Dr Bike’ sessions in Havant Park. The project was supported by Cycling UK as part of the Big Bike Revival.
With minimal advertising and through word of mouth 90 bikes were brought to the repair sessions and some people were trained up as menders.
Many customers indicated that they were relying on their bike to access job opportunities.
The final session was oversubscribed necessitating three further Saturday sessions on 14th November, 12th December and 9th January (10.30-13.30 at Warblington School).
Another planned project from the same group is the Havant Repair Café.
This exciting project was first discussed at a public meeting in late 2019, but just as a trial session was about to be held the lockdown put paid to community meetings.
But the project hasn’t gone away!
Risk assessments are now being organised with Will Coulston, the excellent Pallant Centre Manager, and it is hoped to have a Café trial session in early 2021. We’ll keep you posted.
A longer term aim is to establish a Community Interest Company (CIC) to be called Havant REMADE.
Havant REMADE would be an umbrella name for a range of local repair and renewal projects, including community cycle repair. It would support the local authority’s aim to reduce waste in the local area, would encourage people to keep items in use for longer, and would foster resilience and mutual support in the local population.
Ultimately the group hopes to get funding to repair and restore the Grade 2 listed Havant Signal Box (located at the far end of the station car park at the top of the Billy Track – an ideal location to encourage cycling).
Once restored the signal box could become a community building from which to deliver projects.
If you’d like to get involved in any of these projects please e-mail Anne Sayer at email@example.com.
If you are involved with a local community initiative that we might be able to help with or promote, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org