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A Fresh Start

I arrived in West Devon with one suit case, I knocked on my mother’s door, I had nowhere else I could go – it was that or women’s refuge, or if i stayed at home any longer the hospital. I spent 3 months scared of everything but decided I had to get a job. I managed to get a minimum wage shop job an hour bus ride away. I was like a chocolate tea pot but couldn’t tell them why, I did my best but it was exhausting. This job helped me get a flat and with the help of tax credits and housing benefit i could start to pay my own way. I didn’t have a stick of furniture, not even a bed but I could lock the door and for the first time in years I felt safe.

I worked out it was costing me a £100 in bus fairs a month and 8 hours travel time, I thought it’s time for me get a minimum wage job locally, it would save me money and time. I found an amazing job that before all this had happened I would have been great at, it was professional and used everything i had worked towards in the past and payed well. The problem was it was part time and I would lose all my benefits. I wasn’t going to make ends meet. I went for it any way, I could spend 2 years stacking shelves or I could do something good with my life. I got it the job, I just could not believe it. I decided I would clean, wash dishes, send the tax man crazy by having more than one job and work all I could to make this work.

Eventually I found a part-time job that used my counseling and people skills and would cover the cost of living. I got the job, but had one small problem, I needed my own transport. Being in a controlling relationship, he didn’t want me driving so I didn’t have a licence. I looked up driving courses but they were £1000 some times more money.

I had met the wheels 2 work team at  a charity thing we did, it got me thinking out side the box of cars which were so out of my reach. I would not be able to afford the tax, insurance, petrol let alone buy one. I booked to do my CBT AND PASSED! I have never felt so proud of myself. I called wheels 2 work and within a week I was on a bus to get my bike. Riding home that night was the most alive I had felt in years, I got through my door and wept. The staff were so helpful and encouraging, they didn’t treat me like i was stupid, they helped me understand the kit i needed. I knew that if I had any questions or any problems they would help me out and that they would make sure my bike was as safe as it could be.

I call the bike Gabriel. Not just because every bike rider needs a guardian angel but because you have to have faith, faith that you can handle the road, faith you can trust your instincts, that you can asses risk and danger and keep yourself safe. I have learnt through riding Gabriel that I can have  faith in my self to handle what ever life throws at me. 

Gabriel has helped me feel connected to other people, enabled me to help others and because of wheels 2 work I got my life back and I have learnt to trust my self again. Thank you

F.B, aged 46

They will look after you

I would like to thank Devon Wheels 2 Work for putting me on their scheme. It was very sad to have to give my motor bike back to them. I can highly recommend them to anybody male or female who is interested in hiring a motor bike get in touch with Devon Wheels 2 Work. You will be looked after. The scheme will give you (on loan) a motor bike, jacket, road safety checks, MOT and if you break down they will help you. All you have to do is fill the bike up with petrol, check the oil and wash your bike, it doesn’t like to run when covered in mud.
Max is very helpful when needed. If I get the use of my hand back I will go back to Devon Wheels 2 Work.

Thank you again for everything. Many Thanks Kim

Kim W, aged 59

FREEDOM

I started the scheme in 2008 with a 50cc and after a few weeks moved up to a 125cc scooter as I wanted something with a bigger engine. Devon Wheels 2 Work was based at Halwill Junction back then and the staff were always brilliant and you could have a laugh and a cup of tea with them.

Having to make regular payments helped me learn to budget for my transport and because I wasn’t able to work at that time because of my disabilities s having the bike helped me get out and about. Because of Devon Wheels 2 Work I could go and see my boy and I could go and volunteer.

Devon Wheels 2 Work is a great scheme and from learning how to look after a bike, they helped me eventually get my own one.

M.J, aged 40

THANK YOU

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and how grateful I am to have a fantastic scheme like Wheels 2 Work in my area. If it wasn’t for this scheme and length of time you loaned me the bike I would have had to have given up my job due to start times as public transport doesn’t run at that time of day.
I wish you all the best for the future and hope you continue to support people in Devon by continuing to run such a beneficial scheme which has helped me to stay employed. After passing my driving test I no longer require the bike I have been renting.

Peter C, aged 36

STEPPING STONES

I was in foster care with Merv and Sarah for 3 years. They helped me get a wheels to work bike so I could get a job and see my friends.
I worked in little Chef at Whiddon Down and I couldn’t catch a bus because there wasn’t one. After that, I worked at Vital Dog at North Tawton. I saved enough money to buy my own bike, a virago, which I still ride now.  Thank you Wheels 2 Work for giving me the opportunity to work and meet friends.

 Katie P, aged 20

CHANGES

Official Announcement. 3rd October 2017
Devon Moto and Devon Wheels 2 Work are going through some changes. 
We have had a very tough year which came to a head at the end of March this year. March is the time when we get our annual insurance renewal premium. We had been expecting an increase of the usual 3%, but this year it was to be very different. We were paying around £350 per bike for our loan scheme bikes and were expecting to pay around £360. However, when the schedule arrived our insurance was quoted at £975.00 per bike plus insurance premium tax at 12%, making our new premium a massive £1,092.00 per bike. With around 100 bikes insured understandably our budget was under significant pressure. This was almost a 300% rise in our insurance cost, as you can imagine we were more than a little shocked!

We had to think fast and quickly reduced our fleet to 75 bikes, but this wasn’t enough so we further reduced to 50 machines, still struggling to make ends meet. A further blow hit us when during April when our premises was hit by a catastrophic flood which damaged a large proportion of our showroom stock taking us off the scene during the highest trading period of the year. We had to close the doors to get everything back in order but we never really recovered from that. Following the flood, trading continued to be in decline placing further financial pressure on the business.

In August we decided that we had to make some changes to protect the Wheels 2 Work motorcycle loan scheme to ensure that we can continue to provide the essential service we have been delivering to people throughout Devon for the last 17 years. We reluctantly decided to close the trading arm of the business and concentrate on the loan scheme, so it is with a very heavy heart that I am now announcing the closure of the Holsworthy showroom and workshop facility. The Devon Wheels 2 Work programme will continue, operated on a mobile basis by Max. 

Devon Wheels 2 Work has supported in excess of 5000 people over the last 10 years with independent personal transport to access employment, education, training and social activities.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers for supporting us and the Wheels 2 Work programme over the last four years in Holsworthy. Your custom has helped to provide much needed support for those struggling with transport all over the County. Your investment has changed people’s lives and I thank you for that.

IF YOU’VE GOT THE WILL TO WORK, WE’VE GOT THE WHEELS

If you’re looking for work and haven’t got the money or desire to shackle yourself to a car, then Wheels 2 Work is the perfect solution. We provide scooter loans to enable you to get to places of employment, education or training. It’s a liberator –because it frees people to find work as and where they want, rather than depending on a bus timetable or how far they can walk. As our Chairman, Ian Robertson, says: if you’ve got the will to work, we’ve got the wheels. That sums it up perfectly. ’

Former MP Lembit Öpik is now Director of Comms & Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG). He admits to making a ‘massive detour’ to Holsworthy to celebrate the launch of this new scheme. ‘I can honestly say I’ve travelled from London to Leeds via Devon! I just had to come and underline the importance of this tremendous project for the region. It really does open up job prospects in a way that nothing else can. Devon Wheels 2 Work will do more for work chances than many Government schemes. MAG is 100% behind Max and his team. For their client, it’s a game changer, and that’s worth adding 500 mile to my weekend for many times over!’