Christine Bleakley helps recognise achievements of reformed bicycle thief

Presenter Christine Bleakley this week hosted the premiere of a cycling scheme film featuring a former thief who now repairs bikes in Bethnal Green.

Shenol Shaddouh, 19, was just 13 years old when he began stealing bikes as part of a gang after being expelled from school in Islington.

When he was released from a spell in Feltham Young Offenders Institution, a resettlement worker introduced him to Bikeworks, a social enterprise in Bethnal Green.

Shenol now works full-time at Bikeworks, situated on Cambridge Heath Road in the former offices of the Docklands and East London Advertiser and Hackney Gazette.

He appears in a short film featuring young people who, through the Barclays-supported Cycle into Work scheme, have turned their lives around.

The film premiered at the Barbican on Tuesday night, an event attended by Christine and double gold Olympic medallist at London 2012 Laura Trott.

Bikeworks co-founder Jim Blakemore explained that as a Barclays Cycling Ambassador, Christine had been part of the scheme for some while.

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He said: “It’s nice for her to still be involved and she made a great host as she was able to talk about [the scheme] with some real knowledge.”