Halifax charity needs your help to scoop £50,000 grant

Samantha Wilkinson, Angela Keenan, Beckie Poole, David Fawcett, Robert Scott, Trevor Adams
Samantha Wilkinson, Angela Keenan, Beckie Poole, David Fawcett, Robert Scott, Trevor Adams

A Halifax charity which helps the homeless is hoping to scoop a grant to help extend the fantastic work it does.

HappyDays Cycles is one of five projects to be shortlisted to take part in a TV competition, where the three with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000.

The Big Lottery Fund wanted to celebrate some of the incredible projects it has funded and has worked with ITV to shortlist 95 projects across the UK.

HappyDays Cycles in Sowerby Bridge opened on February 20, 2016 and is one of three social enterprise companies working hard to make HappyDays sustainable in the future.

It provides training in cycle maintenance for people who are at risk of, or who have experienced homelessness.

This means they will be able to refurbish pre-owned bikes, offer bike rides and hold pop-up shops offering affordable and well maintained bikes for Calderdale.

It’s hoped this will boost employment prospects for homeless people and encourage more people to take up cycling, improving their physical and mental health as well as providing social opportunities.

Charity founder David Fawcett said: “We are thrilled to be through to the last five charities for this ITV bid.

“The funds will help us survive in this tough climate and help our newly opened HappyDays Cycle Shop and Café in Sowerby Bridge which provides reconditioned and new cycles, cycling clothes and accessories.

“Profits from the Cycle shop go back into the main charity helping to support the homeless and vulnerable in the local community.

“Whilst the shop opened in February, we are planning a grand opening on March 12 and everyone is welcome, including The Fonz from hit American sitcom Happy Days.

“Winning this bid will allow us to help people like Mark, who struggled with his tenancy following his mother’s death, was evicted and turned to live on the streets with his two dogs.

“We offered him a tenancy at our supported community scheme, supported him and helped build his confidence.

“He now volunteers at HappyDays Cycles, and has started to rebuild his life. We really believe in getting people working and having a regular routine.

“The benefits of cycling are amazing, it’s fantastic for mental health and helps give everyone, and especially the people we help, a new freedom and hope.”

Dawn Austwick, Big Lottery Fund chief executive, said: “Each year we make 13,000 awards to groups and projects that make lives and communities better.

“The People’s Projects put you in charge of where money will be spent where you live, so make sure that you get online to pick your winning project.”

Voting closes at midday on Sunday, March 12.

People can only vote once per region and will need an email address to vote. To vote go to www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk.