Bands and bi­cy­cles at a be­spoke party

Unique cycling cafe hosts fes­tive bash in park

Uxbridge Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­

A UNIQUE cycling cafe is host­ing its first ever Christ­mas party in a drive to get peo­ple us­ing Uxbridge’s Fass­nidge Park.

The Rusty Bike Cafe, which lo­cated in the park in Rock­ing­ham Pa­rade in the heart of Uxbridge, opened around five months ago and is the culinary lit­tle brother of Re­cy­cle-a-Bike cy­cle shop.

The cafe of­fers work op­por­tu­ni­ties to help peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues back into the work­place.

Satur­day will see the park wel­come lo­cal bands per­form­ing on the band­stand as well as a fes­tive bar­be­cue, bi­cy­cle raf­fle and some non­al­co­holic drinks.

The event is the first of its kind and owner of Re­cy­cle-a-Bike and The Rusty Cafe, Nick Gore, hopes it will raise some aware­ness for both the park and the unique com­mu­nity-run shops.

Mr Gore, who first set up the vol­un­teer-run bike shop 11 years ago, said: “It’s about try­ing to tell peo­ple we’ve moved to the park. It’s a project be­tween us and the coun­cil be­cause no one re­ally knows [the park] is here.

“So I said let’s put on a Christ­mas event. We’ll get some bands and put up some dec­o­ra­tions.”

Mr Gore set up Re­cy­cle-a-Bike be­cause of his pre­vi­ous work in men­tal health in the bor­ough.

While work­ing as a per­sonal trainer for peo­ple with acute men­tal health is­sues he was run­ning cycling ses­sions, but some pa­tients wanted to keep up the cycling after they fin­ished treat­ment de­spite not hav­ing a bike.

After some kind­hearted peo­ple do­nated bikes, Mr Gore and a small group of pa­tients started fix­ing them up to make them ride­able.

Fast-for­ward 11 years, and Re­cy­cle-a-Bike now has a new store in Rock­ing­ham Pa­rade after re­cently mov­ing from the Ran­dalls build­ing in Uxbridge, which is now un­der de­vel­op­ment.

Mr Gore, who lives in Rick­mansworth, said: “We help peo­ple back back into work.

“It’s about hav­ing that step­ping stone and that con­fi­dence boost.

“They can meet peo­ple but they’re not be­ing judged.”

Re­cy­cle-a-Bike and The Rusty Bike Cafe also help out of work peo­ple get valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence and train­ing to help them find em­ploy­ment.

Mr Gore is hop­ing to grow the busi­ness so they can of­fer fully paid up cy­cle me­chanic train­ing to give their vol­un­teers an even big­ger chance of find­ing em­ploy­ment.

The shop cur­rently has around 25 to 30 peo­ple it sup­ports with an­other 12 to 15 vol­un­teers who help out along­side other jobs.

While try­ing to help boost the work they do, Mr Gore is also keen to make The Rusty Bike a hub for cy­clists in west Lon­don, but needs help spread­ing the word to bike rid­ers and cycling clubs in the area.

The Christ­mas event at the park on Satur­day, which runs from 11am to 6pm, aims to get the word out that Re­cy­cle-a-Bike and The Rusty Bike Cafe are open for busi­ness.

PARTY PLAN: Nick Gore, owner of Re­cy­cle-a-Bike and The Rusty Bike cafe

BIKE BAND: Some of the team at Re­cy­cle-a-Bike

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