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Harry McKeown from The Bike Drop with fellow delivery cyclists Kes Wilkie, Ollie Green & Milo Kester

A newly established Stroud organisation is benefitting local young people and retailers, as well as boosting its green, sustainable credentials.

The local bicycle delivery service, The Bike Drop, which was established during the first UK Coronavirus lockdown in a bid to help both those living in the town and local retailers, has proved such a success that it now employs five young people.

The organisation, which is part-owned by community interest companies Creative Sustainability and The Grace Network, was initially set up to help support local retailers, whilst providing young people with a purpose.

The Bike Drop received £1,280 from Wales & West Utilities Safe and Warm Fund, which allowed them to purchase essential PPE and bike safety equipment for all riders. Quick to prove its success, The Bike Shop now has a host of local retailers signed up to its services and employs five young people to make deliveries across the town.

The Safe and Warm Fund was designed to directly help those working in communities, targeting support at those who need it most.

We are delighted that the fund will now support so many organisations across our operating area, who like The Bike Drop, are helping local communities respond to Coronavirus.

Seeing communities come together to face the challenge of Coronavirus has been fantastic – and everyone at Wales & West Utilities is excited to see these projects come to life and how they will make a positive impact on the lives of people most in need.

Graham Edwards, Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive

Back in March we knew just how hard it was for local people to get hold of things easily and so, we started a simple bike delivery service across the town.

We were overwhelmed with the number of young people who wanted to help provide the deliveries, as well as those in need of our support. It was clear that the model worked, and The Bike Drop was founded.

The response to The Bike Drop has been fantastic. The one thing the pandemic has shown us is the abundance of local community support out there in towns and villages across the UK.

Our aims are simple – we want to make Stroud greener, whilst boosting the local economy and creating meaningful opportunities for young people. To date, we are ticking all boxes and are delighted with the growth of the service.

Harry McKeown, The Bike Drop Director

The Bike Drop currently delivers goods directly from local retailers including Salt Bakehouse, Velo Bakery and Caribou Vegan Restaurant, using electric bikes.

I started as a volunteer rider during the first lockdown and it was a hugely rewarding way of giving something back to the local community in a time of need. I was delighted to be taken on by The Bike Drop and am now head rider, where I also deliver training to new riders that join the team.

The Bike Drop is going from strength to strength and we hope that more retailers use us to deliver their goods across the town so that we, in turn, can give young people more opportunities.

Oliver Green, The Bike Drop

Wales & West Utilities set up the Safe and Warm Fund to help organisations and charities directly respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The gas emergency and pipeline service has been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure people are kept safe and warm in their homes and opened the fund to help others in communities across Wales and the south west of England do the same.