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15 Mar 2022

Southeastern and YMCA West Kent Working Together in Bike Maintenance Scheme

Southeastern and YMCA West Kent Working Together in Bike Maintenance Scheme: Bikes being collected from Sevenoaks Station

  • Southeastern donates abandoned bikes left at local stations to YMCA West Kent

Every six months bikes abandoned across the network are transferred to Sevenoaks station and collected by the charity, YMCA West Kent. The bikes are then overhauled and repaired by the youngsters on the charity's program, giving them real experience of learning practical skills that they can utilise in the workplace. The bikes are then sold on in the YMCA stores at Tower house, Vale Rise, Tonbridge to raise further funds to support these training programmes.

Elliott Waters, Station Manger at Sevenoaks, says  “Working with the YMCA over the past three years has been a great way to support the work of the charity to enable young people to develop their skills in bike maintenance, using the bikes that have been left behind at our stations."

The students attending the scheme learn about bike maintenance through building a bike for themselves to keep and then continue to support the project by working on bikes to sell or help technicians service bikes for customers.

One young man who was on the point of being permanently excluded from school attended one day each week to get some real work experience and develop life skills, has gradually returned to school and will be sitting his GCSEs this summer.  Using the donated bikes from Southeastern he is also doing an accredited bike technician course. 

Amanda Sheer. Business Development Manager from YMCA, West Kent commented "The project was set up three years ago, but was closed for the majority of lockdown, so is just resurfacing.  We are so grateful to Southeastern for the donation of bikes and as a result we have expanded our offer from student courses for schools to now offering full bike servicing to the local community." 


Elliott Waters, Southeastern and Amanda Sheer, YMCA are available for interview

Contact information

Emma Owen

Notes to editors

Media contacts

Southeastern Press Office

0330 095 9091

About Southeastern:

Southeastern runs train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, operating 1,600 trains a day, carrying more than 400,00 passengers, serving 180 stations and covering 540 miles of track.

SOUTHEASTERN is owned by SE Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s public sector owning group, ‘DOHL.’ DOHL has responsibility for three rail companies, LNER, Northern Trains Limited and SE Trains.

Southeastern is the trading name of SE TRAINS LIMITED. Registered in England under company 03266762. Registered office address: Albany House, Floor 8, 94-98 Petty France, London, England, SW1H 9EA. SE Trains Limited is a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Limited - ‘DOHL.’


About the YMCA Thames Gateway Group

We empower young people and transform the local community through four key areas of work:

  • Offering a place to stay– between our hostel and move-on accommodation we give approximately 500 young people a safe, warm place to stay, as well as support to help them stay off the streets for good.
  • Giving young people a fresh start - we give young people the support they need to make a fresh start in life, including life skills training, accredited courses, vocational training and work experience, drugs and alcohol counselling, crime prevention and support to lead active and healthy lives.
  • Giving support – We provide childcare for over 200 children every day and offer a range of other support to families, including holiday and youth clubs, before and after school activities, support for those at risk of exclusion from school, and family and parenting programmes.
  • Helping communities to get active – We currently engage with 10,000 people every year, we support local people to develop into healthy, confident individuals.

For more information about our services go to



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