Traction is a Brisbane based organisation that provides young people with the opportunity to refurbish and customise their own projects from bicycles, lawn mowers, motorcycles and other machines donated by the community, alongside volunteers who not only physically assist but provide mentoring. One of Traction’s locations is in West End, home turf for the Epic Good Foundation, and we were delighted to be able to support them last year in establishing the necessary tools for the workshop.
Sam had the chance to visit Traction with Stuart and Anita in December, and enjoyed it so much he asked us to enrol him in the upcoming school holiday program so he could participate in the full experience. One of his mates signed up as well, and I’ve loved hearing them chatting away about how much they are looking forward to the day ahead on the mornings I’ve dropped them off, and even more so hearing their recap of the day on the afternoons when its my turn to collect them.
The first few days saw them stripping down old donated bikes and learning the basics of bike mechanics. Some of the boys participating had plenty of prior experience, but this was brand new territory for Sam and he absolutely loved it. I’ve always had a sense of loss that my dad’s early death from cancer meant Sam never had the chance to potter alongside him in his shed, learning those skills at his side. Hearing Sam talking about how much he’s enjoyed stripping those old bikes down and turning them into something new, and the sense of pride he’s obtained from being able to do that with his own hands has brought a tear to my eye on several occasions this week, and I’m incredibly grateful to the wonderful team of volunteers at Traction who have provided that experience for him.
After spending the first few days learning and practising, it was time for them to use their new found skills to assemble and build their new bikes. I was under strict instructions that there was no way known they could be late on such an exciting day, and the two boys couldn’t get out of the car and inside quick enough. I was so glad it was my turn to pick them up again that afternoon as I arrived to find Sam charging around the car park on his newly built BMX with the biggest grin ever on his face.
He’s already asking if he can go back again next school holidays, and definitely wants to stay involved with Traction going forward. After experiencing first hand this week the incredible benefits that this program can deliver I’m thrilled that Epic Good already has a relationship here, and look forward to exploring how we can continue to support the fantastic work the Traction team are doing. If you want to find out more about the Traction programs there’s lots of great information on their website here.