Cyclops was started from an idea from a young Ashton lad called Carl Davies. He renovated an old cycle, sold it and then told the local Police, who were so impressed with Carl's initiative that premises were found and Trevor Barraclough , a local youth leader, was brought in to run the project. The local young people helped develop the workshop and were rewarded with an "earn a bike" scheme. An immediate outcome was that local bike crime was greatly reduced, which was a catalyst to the project receiving more funding and support from local authorities.

Funding was obtained through Ashton Renewal, Tameside Youth Service, St. Peters partnership, Greater Manchester Police and other local bodies to run the scheme to refurbish bikes on a Friday evening and Saturday morning. As well as fixing bikes the Cycl~Ops as it became known used the sessions to pass on information on first aid, map reading and other topics. The young people attending used to sessions to obtain the "Youth Achievement Award" , which required 60 hours of activities. The YAA has four levels of awards, ranging from Bronze for taking part ,up to Platinum if you take on a leadership or peer education role.

The refurbished bikes are unclaimed stolen bikes donated by the Police and donated to local people and some to other countries as part of a culture experience for Ashton youngsters.

Cycl~Ops also attracts support for young girls under the Healthy Living Project. With fitness and active lifestyle high on the government's agenda on health, Ashton girls are well catered for by the project.

Recent achievements include winning the local heat of the "Make a Difference" award run by Greater Manchester Police.

What makes Cycl~Ops different is the modern styling as shown above, where there is a chill out area for refreshments or carrying non bike related activities.

Cycl~Ops have moved on to new premises and are now run by the Youth Service with Trevor running most of the sessions. His is assisted by 3 part time workers to deliver bike related sessions to a variety of groups of different ethnic backgrounds.

As well as refurbishing bikes, some going to Africa, Cyclops provides cycle rides locally and into the nearby Peak District. They also run residential trips to Wales.

Email Lee Eckersley Bikelinks Development Officer