Search

Cycle mechanics project set up by teenagers aims to tackle Camden gang crime

10:05 30 April 2014

From left to right: Marj Abedin, Amir Miah, Parvas Ali, Emran Miah and Rahel Miah. Picture: Polly Hancock.

From left to right: Marj Abedin, Amir Miah, Parvas Ali, Emran Miah and Rahel Miah. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

A youth project aimed at reducing gang crime in Camden by training young people to become cycle mechanics is offering bike services at a new pop-up shop.

Evolution Cycle Co, set up by a group of teenagers in 2009, opened the shop at Camden Collective in Camden High Street, Camden Town, on Monday last week and hopes to find a permanent base in the near future.

The shop, which is open every day except Sunday, offered a free bike check-up to anyone who visited in the first week and also sells a range of second-hand bikes and pedal-powered smoothies.

The company’s two apprentices, Jay Rashid, 23, and Emran Miah, 20, are working at the shop as part of their training to gain an industry-recognised qualification for bike mechanics.

Parvaz Ali, 19, one of the founding directors, said: “At the moment, we are training up two young people full-time. One of them has just come out of prison and the other one has been out of employment or education for two years.

“Jay went to prison for a few charges. Now he’s come out he has a child and he’s trying to change his life around, so we gave him this opportunity.

“Emran left secondary school and went on to do an apprenticeship in carpentry. The teaching provided wasn’t very good, the tutor had to be replaced, so he got fed up and left. After that, he was looking for jobs, but nothing had come up, so we approached him.”

Mr Ali, a former Regent High School pupil, set up the firm in 2009 with teenage friends Amir Miah, Marj Abedin, Rak Islam and Rahel Miah, running bike-repair classes at the Surma Centre in Regent’s Park for young people living on nearby estates and giving away bikes donated by police.

“We get the young people to fix the bikes and then we sell them on,” said Mr Ali.

In 2012, the company received a £27,000 social enterprise grant from Camden Council, enabling it to employ the apprentices and pay them the London Living Wage.

“I grew up in Camden and there’s a lot of crime,” said Mr Ali. “I used to see a lot of people at the community centre who started to mix with the wrong groups and got involved in gangs and crime.

“With this recession, it’s just so hard now to get a job. There aren’t many opportunities, so for many people crime is a way to get by.

“We want to reduce gang crime in Camden. We want young people to see that there are opportunities for them. If you get qualifications, there are opportunities.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Police arrived at the Hornsey Tavern. Photo: Crouch End TV

A man who was stabbed in the stomach area rushed into a nearby pub in Hornsey where his ‘life was saved’ by a nurse who happened to be there.

Police were called to reports of a stabbing

Police responded after a man was stabbed on High Street in Hornsey yesterday evening at 9pm

Yesterday, 22:32
Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward will remain at the helm after seeing off a challenge from Cllr Sally Gimson

Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward will stay in the top job after surviving a leadership challenge from Labour rival Sally Gimson.

Yesterday, 19:08
Tom Franklin with supporters, including Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, outside court

Eight campaigners cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest may be dragged back to court after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lodged an appeal.

Yesterday, 18:06
Advertising banners on lampposts in Haverstock Hill

Residents in Belsize Park say large estate agents banners which have gone up on lampposts throughout the area are an “ugly” eyesore and should not have been allowed by Camden.

Yesterday, 17:38
Thames Water have discovered a well under Muswell Hill Broadway

Haringey Council has invited English Heritage to investigate the well’s history

Yesterday, 17:23
Tulip Siddiq MP and Chris Percy with their newborn daughter Azalea Joy Percy

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, has said that mums being prevented from breastfeeding in public is “depressing” after a group of women were banned from breastfeeding at the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

Yesterday, 17:20
Air pollution public meeting at St Stephens
Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air London

A citizen science project has confirmed what Camden residents and environmentalists have long suspected - that we are breathing in dangerous levels of toxins right across the borough, even at the leafy heart of Hampstead Heath.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe