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Salvation Army workshop restores more than just abandoned bikes

Salvation Army workshop restores more than just abandoned bikes

The workshop is the brainchild of Andy Steele (left). (ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja) Brisbane’s abandoned and stolen bikes have long been left to rust…

Saturday, Aug 08

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The workshop is the brainchild of Andy Steele (left). (ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja) Brisbane’s abandoned and stolen bikes have long been left to rust at the tip or gather dust in police storage facilities.

But thanks to a local initiative backed by the Salvation Army, neglected bikes are getting a second chance — as are the people repairing them.

Working out of two converted shipping containers in Red Hill, Damien Saal is one of the people charged with revamping and recycling the bikes that are then sold through the charity.

"It’s probably my dream job, to be honest," he said.

"It was perfect for me because I’d always wanted to do something like this." Damien Saal repairs and services abandoned and stolen bikes.(ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja) Mr Saal, who recently came out of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, said the workshop had been a "godsend".

"Things were getting worse and worse and I made the decision to change my life," he said. The team receives donations from Queensland Police, Queensland Rail and universities.(ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja) The Salvos Re-Cycle Bikes workshop is the brainchild of social enterprise coordinator and avid cyclist Andy Steele. "We wanted to create a social enterprise that could help people rebuild lives and rebuild bikes," he told ABC Radio Brisbane . "It was a crazy idea that actually got off the ground."

The idea came about after Mr Steele and the Nanna Fitty’s Fruit Cake Cycling Club completed a charity ride from Sydney to Brisbane in 2018, raising $130,000."I […]

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