Kapiti Youth Support (KYS) has an exciting new project, giving a new lease of life to some of its youth as well as old bikes from around the community.
A bike project has been created with the hope of fostering a sense of community and confidence in young 16 to 17 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET).
KYS youth coach Jhial McGregor said the programme was aimed at building independence, a sense of community and confidence with the hope young people involved become more employable and engaged in training or school.
The project involves NEETs doing up old bikes donated by the police and other members of the community and matching them with someone in the NEETs community who needs one.
The project fosters a sense of community in the NEET as they help to improve the life of another young person who might have had their bike stolen or can't afford a bike.
In doing the project, the hope is that the NEETs learn skills involved in fixing up bikes but also learn to put work into something with the intention of giving it to someone else.
"We've done four bikes now, and it is something we want to keep going," Jhial said.
Working from an old, mostly full shipping container, fixing the bikes involves repairing punctures, oiling chains, re-calibrating, replacing old parts and giving them a general clean up.
"The big focus is on getting the youth engaged as they are not engaged in school or employment.
"It gives them some skills and work experience that is more than sitting in an office all day.
"Our initial plan was to sell them (the bikes) but we realised we weren't in it for profit, but to teach these guys to give back and show them how to put a smile on someone else's face."
Last week Kapiti News witnessed KYS giving away their first bike to Brett Harness, an 11-year-old who had his bike stolen.
Brett's eyes lit up when he saw the bright green bike.
"Even though he doesn't say much, he has been looking forward to it," his mother Gaelene Harness said.
"He loves computers and games so this will be good to get him out of the house."
Brett received a bike worked on by KYS NEET Brayden Conroy.
"I gave it a good clean, there was a lot of rust on it and we put on new handle bar grips and a mud guard."
The bike chain was also fixed and it has a new wheel.
"I was doing another course at a different place that wasn't going so well so I thought this KYS course would be a good support for me and help get me back on track with life.
"I'm enjoying it so far, I enjoy working with bikes."
KYS has received support from Bike Barn and Biking Mad but has also invested heavily in the project by buying helmets and bike locks from their own funds to give away with the bikes.