Spotlight Saturday – Max

Active Essex

Essex Pedal Power, an exciting community based project launched in Clacton and Jaywick in early 2021, allowing eligible residents to apply for a free bike. The inclusive project aims to make cycling accessible for everyone providing access to employment, training and educational opportunities or key local services, distributing in total 1,300 bikes in phases until 2023.

When the Essex Pedal Power project began, Max came forward as he was keen to get involved in the community cycling initiative. He soon signed up to become a volunteer, helping to build bikes as well as supervise Saturday bike training sessions in Jaywick, which have really helped bring the community together.

Keen to develop his knowledge and skills, Max has since undertaken an advanced bike maintenance course and trained to become a Bikeability instructor. This has opened up regular employment opportunities for him as an instructor for the Essex Pedal Power bike training sessions, as well as teaching children to cycle in local schools.

Max said; “My family moved down from London about 12 years ago and I spent ten years of that in Clacton. I didn’t have the greatest time at school and came away with much less than I, or anybody else, expected before moving here to Jaywick. In my two years here, I’ve found that, contrary to popular belief, I’ve had more opportunities come my way than in all those years in Clacton combined. Moving here came with a disconnect from anybody I knew in Clacton, and I’d spent most of my time searching desperately for work, I would only end up hating.

Since joining the Essex Pedal Power team I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of wonderful people and opportunity, with the chance to actually do something useful with my time, not only for myself, but also the community I live in. It has also allowed me to develop my skills for something I have a true passion for and this knowledge has enabled me to get more people cycling, creating positive, healthier lifestyle changes.

I love the community spirit this fantastic project brings and it’s a real pleasure to be able to help residents gain an interest in cycling and even teach some of them to ride a bike for the first time. I’m so grateful for the opportunity Essex Pedal Power has not only brought me, but also my fellow residents in Clacton and Jaywick.”