Working in tandem in Thetford to get youngsters cycling

Two growing Thetford charities have formed a partnership to encourage young people to take up cycling.

The Crack On Foundation, which helps young people with employment training, and Thetford Cycling Forward, which repairs and donates old bicycles, will begin by providing young people with transport to work and training opportunities.

The partnership will now see the cycling charity provide bicycles to the young people involved with the Crack On Foundation.

Founder of Crack On, Mark Byford, said the agreement would offer “mutual benefits”.

“Many of the young people we work with have no transport of their own and cannot afford public transport, so having a bicycle provides them with a way of getting to work or training courses,” he said.

“Of course, cycling is also a very healthy pastime and we are now seeing more and more families out cycling together, many for the first time, so this partnership has so many positive elements.

“Also, through our second- hand goods shops in Thetford, Newmarket and Ipswich, we often receive bicycle helmets, pumps, locks and other equipment which we will be sending directly to Thetford Cycling Forward for it to use when restoring the bicycles.”

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The Crack On Foundation works on the Pay It Forward concept of doing a good turn for someone and not expecting anything in return.

They then “pay it forward” to someone else at a later date. The belief is people will prosper if they help others before they help themselves.

It also has a shop at its headquarters in Thetford, and in Newmarket and Ipswich, with further plans for Bury St Edmunds, Norwich, Cambridge and Sudbury.

Last month, the charity, which works with those between 16 and 25, also launched an enterprise scheme with JobCentre Plus which it hopes will help young people find employment or launch their own businesses.

Thetford Cycling Forward, led by outreach worker Carl Clark and which began at the Bishop’s Primary School on Thetford’s Abbey Estate, takes bicycles which would otherwise have gone to waste and gives them to families who are referred to the group by support agencies.