East Sussex Wheels 2 Work has been a brilliant project to run over the last eight years. We started back in 2013 with a new workshop and five excellent new employees and for four years operated from impressive premises in Eastbourne, involving local biking groups and staging some other events to involve the community.
In our first year we even won the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ award from Sussex Business Council.
That was amazing for us as we had worked so hard to establish the new business.
For the next four years the business went from strength to strength and all looked well for the future but…
In 2017 our funding was significantly reduced which caused us to close the main premises on Hammonds Drive. The subsidy on each and every one of our scooters makes it affordable for those on low incomes, without the subsidy Wheels 2 Work just doesn’t work. We kept the program running from our headquarters in Devon, which worked well, with day to day issues supported by Eastbourne based business’.
The program continued to support local communities with funding through East Sussex County Councils Active Access for Growth fund. It was great to work with other local service providers to continue project delivery in the area and we supported some really inspiring young individuals to enable them to access employment, education and training opportunities helping them to achieve their own personal goals in life.
The real reason for this post is actually to announce the closure of the program, we were unsuccessful in gaining continuation funding and have therefore had to close our doors for the last time. It’s a little bit sad, but without funding to subsidise the scooter loans we are unable to continue with Wheels 2 Work in East Sussex.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank East Sussex County Council for their support over the last 8 years, with special thanks to Lisa Simmonds and Marina Littek. Without their support none of this would ever have happened. We would love to come back given the opportunity, Wheels 2 Work is definitely needed in the area and we proved how successful it can be.
Over the duration of the scheme we have supported around 550 local people to improve their prospects and introduced them to joys of life on two wheels helping to reduce traffic congestion, link up existing services and reduce the carbon footprint of their daily commute.
We gave them freedom, independence and choice and I’m proud to say I was a part of that.
So it’s an end to my 5 ½ hour commute, the many nights away from home, the walks in the lovely Sussex countryside and the joys of A27 traffic on a Friday evening.
Goodbye for now, Max Jowett. East Sussex Wheels 2 Work CIC