Former meditation teacher Daniel Taylor and town centre businesswoman Rebecca Cooper support the Cycle Recycle scheme. Now they need help to find new premises in Herne Bay
Tell us about Cycle Recycle
Daniel: We were operating in Sea Street from October 2013 up until September 2014 and we took donations of old bicycles from people to repair. The aim is to stop them just being taken straight to landfill, so we work with people in the community, who may not be able to work, do something productive and learn skills. It provides meaningful social and life skills as a social enterprise, and we had about four regular volunteers, and 10 people used the facility. The original idea came from transition towns like Bristol. We take the bikes, do them up and give them to people who might not normally have the chance to ride.
What does the branch need now?
Daniel: We’re looking for a new premises so we can keep our branch in Herne Bay. I think the community of Herne Bay has responded well to it. We had 180 bicycles donated during that time.
Rebecca: I really support Daniel with the project. I think the people of Herne Bay really took it to their hearts so it’s a shame it doesn’t have a premises at the moment.
Daniel: We’re flexible as to where we can go, but any help to find us a location in the town would be great.
Tell us about yourselves
Rebecca: I set up the Green Bay Goods shop in the town centre in April 2014 and have had a good first Christmas in the town. I’ve lived in Herne Bay for about two years and before that I’ve lived in France for four years and also in Whitstable.
Daniel: I moved to study a master’s degree in Canterbury in psychology and I’m a stepfather here, too. Before starting work with Cycle Recycle I was teaching meditation classes. I’ve always taken an interest in mental health issues and thought the scheme allows you to have a positive impact on a number of people. There are an awful lot of cuts to money going into mental health services in Kent. In Herne Bay the Umbrella Centre does very well with the resources it has to help people.
How’s business in the town?
Rebecca: It’s OK – the market has been a mixed blessing really. They took away public seating, so twice I’ve had elderly people coming in who have had to sit down in the shop. On one occasion there was also a mum who needed to breastfeed here because there isn’t anywhere outside to rest. The council has said it will bring the seating back in spring. The town is really improving and it’s something you can really see living in the town. There are more nice independent shops opening. Perhaps there should be more signs on the seafront to tell people about the town centre. I’m not sure visitors or people who live here realise some of the lovely shops they have on their doorsteps and what they can find locally.
Herne Bay Gazette, January 15th 2015