A few Bourchier St Primary School students have had their week made after receiving repaired bikes from the Shepparton Ethnic Council.
Shepparton police property manager Belinda Ross said each year police found about 150 bikes and once found, they had to be held for three months while police attempted to find the owner.
After three months, if police had not found an owner or no-one had come forward to claim their bike they could be donated to a charity. Ms Ross said few people came forward to claim found bikes, but the Greater Shepparton Eyewatch Facebook page had improved their ability to reunite bikes with their owners.
“At least it’s sort of out there and it goes into the media after Eyewatch, but apart from that people never come forward (and) it could be a perfectly good bike,” she said. Ms Ross said if the bikes were not claimed, it was good to see them given to others who could benefit from them.
School students Kellum O’Hara, Nowa Hamu and Rita Hamu recently received their own bikes from the Ethnic Council. Shepparton Ethnic Council project co-ordinator Sam Atukorala said Bourchier St students repaired the bikes and passed them on to classmates.
“I do play a role as a school counsellor for Bourchier St as well, so I found out there’s a couple of disadvantaged kids in the school who’d actually like to have bikes as well,” he said. “There are a number of multicultural kids coming to this school so it is an opportunity for them to actually get the benefit of this project.”
Year 4 students Jamis Godden, 10, and Bailey Armstrong, 10, helped fix-up several bikes. They said it was a lot of fun, but also challenging. School chaplain Richard Poole said it was great for the children who had spent several days working on the bikes at school.
“It’s an activity that they really enjoy, especially those kids who like hands-on things,” he said. Mr Poole said the students working on the bikes were also excited about giving them to their classmates.
“We thought it was a great idea, especially for those kids who may not be able to sit still in class or they just haven’t got a bike to ride to school,” he said. Ms Ross said it was important for people with lost bikes to report them as stolen to police as this could help them be reunited with their property.
Article and image courtesy Shepparton News