Bike Punk – Tweeddale Youth Action Group


Tweeddale Youth Action is an open access youth project with youth clubs in Peebles and Innerleithen in Tweeddale in the Scottish Borders. From our youth clubs we offer 4 evening drop-in sessions every week and through these drop-ins we offer activities and opportunities for approximately 150 young people aged between 10 and 18 each week.


In addition, we offer regular trips away, including residential and learning experiences as well as 1:1 support through our Bike Punks workshop, Food Punks catering project and project staff who work within Peebles High School as well as through our youth clubs.


Food Punks includes young people in our Food Punks brigade, offering outside and event catering across the Scottish Borders and further afield.


Our Bike Punks workshop teaches metal work skills to young people, including those who are excluded from or who have left school as well as those on reduced timetables. Collectively, the Bike Punks team are working on cycle route signs made from redundant and broken pieces of old bike and will be showcased in Scot Rail stations across the South of Scotland. The team also oversee an electric bike library that allows us to train our young people as mechanics and directly employ them and we will shortly start a delivery service using our cargo e-bikes which will help some of the most vulnerable members of our community with shopping, recycling bottles etc.


Across all TYA strands, young people have access to informal education and opportunities to become part of a team, feel like they belong and have their successes recognised.


Risk taking behaviour, social isolation and loneliness, anxiety, low confidence, self esteem and mental health  are recurring themes with many of the young people we support and TYA offers a non judgemental space with opportunities to make friends and build positive relationships with staff and volunteers who are well placed to listen, advise and signpost young people to support that is available.


In many cases, TYA represents the only positive outlet for our young people and, although our doors are open for all young people, our typical service users are those y/p who don’t engage with extra curricular activity and who face significant challenge in their lives. Listening to our y/p, giving them opportunities, celebrating success and rewarding positive engagement has a profound effect in how they see and value themselves. Examples of our interventions include:


Helping y/p secure paid employment and re-engage with education

Reducing and stopping patterns of negative behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse and self-harming

Reducing social isolation and loneliness, plugging young people into a supportive network of peers and new friends

Improving y/p’s aspirations, self-belief and self-worth.


Youth work is long haul work with young people often accessing our support for years and continuity of staff, premises and access times is essential, especially when supporting y/p who can often be chaotic.


Securing funding to offer this continuity and opportunities that y/p need is challenging,and the present funding climate is tough for small, third sector charities like ours. We are hugely grateful for financial support from George Crawford Legacy Trust and this will help us pay the core costs such as rent, utilities and insurance that are often a struggle to secure through other funding streams but are so vital in helping us to keep our doors open and enabling us to support our young people who need us more than ever before.



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