Getting on their bikes has helped a delivery service in Stroud thrive to the extent it is employing five young people.
The Bike Drop – part-owned by community interest companies Creative Sustainability and The Grace Network – launched during the first coronavirus lockdown to support local retailers and provide young people with a purpose.
Director Harry McKeown said: “We knew just how hard it was for local people to get hold of things easily, so we started a simple bike delivery service across the town.
“We were overwhelmed with the number of young people who wanted to help provide the deliveries, as well as those in need of our support.
“It was clear the model worked and The Bike Drop was founded.”
The organisation, which received £1,280 from Wales & West Utilities Safe and Warm Fund to purchase essential PPE and bike safety equipment, has a host of retailers signed up to its services.
“The response has been fantastic,” said Mr McKeown. “The one thing the pandemic has shown us is the abundance of local community support out there in towns and villages across the UK.” Our aims are simple – we want to make Stroud greener, whilst boosting the local economy and creating meaningful opportunities for young people. To date, we are ticking all boxes and are delighted with the growth of the service.”
Oliver Green is one of the riders delivering from the likes of Salt Bakehouse, Velo Bakery and Caribou Vegan Restaurant on electric bikes.
The 19 year old said: “I started as a volunteer rider during the first lockdown and it was a hugely rewarding way of giving something back to the local community in a time of need.
“I was delighted to be taken on by The Bike Drop and am now head rider, where I also deliver training to new riders that join the team.
“The Bike Drop is going from strength to strength and we hope that more retailers use us to deliver their goods across the town so that we, in turn, can give young people more opportunities.”