Christine Bleakley gets on her bike for Bethnal Green work scheme
TV presenter Christine Bleakley got on her bike and had a spin around Bethnal Green Gardens today while visiting a successful social enterprise.
The 32-year-old was the guest of Bikeworks - a not-for-profit bike shop and community centre in Cambridge Heath Road - which has announced funding of �125,000 from Barclays to continue its “Cycle Into Work” scheme.
It will teach 150 homeless and disadvantaged young people to build their own bike which they then keep.
On-the-spot training will also be given at the Cambridge Heath Road shop and a sister location in Ladbroke Grove to provide 50 participants with a City and Guilds qualification, a key route into employment.
Christine, soon to start her own new job on ITV1’s show Dancing On Ice after being axed from the channel’s Daybreak programme, spoke to formerly homeless people already helped by Bikeworks.
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She was joined by Marcus Agius, the group chairman of Barclays. Christine said: “It’s a great place to be and a great thing for any community to have.”
Glen Barnard, 43, of Chrisp Street, Poplar, was homeless in Brick Lane two and a half years ago but now works as a supervisor at Bikeworks.
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He said: “Now I have my own money and I can have a future.
“I don’t have to be on the dole and waiting for a cheque to come through the door.”
Mr Agius said: “Barclays latest community investment programme “Cycle into Work” is a natural fit and extension of our London cycle sponsorships – Barclays Cycle Hire and Barclays Cycle Superhighways.”