Moped loans to jobhunters

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Sara Hughes Sara Hughes

MUM Sara Hughes could launch a moped hire scheme in Pewsey to help fight youth unemployment.

Mrs Hughes, a 54-year-old civil servant, launched EPIC Pewsey earlier this year to help 16 to 25-year-olds improve their employment prospects after her son struggled to find work when he left university.

Now she is looking at reviving Wiltshire Council’s Wheels to Work – a moped loan scheme to help young people get to work or training.

She said: “It’s something I found out about when I set up EPIC in June but the funding ran out about a year ago.

“The mopeds can be hired for six months and the young people have to undertake compulsory training and pass their moped test, and there is a maintenance agreement.

“Because of where we are, the places people would have to travel to for work are in Marlborough, Devizes and Hungerford, so a scheme like this could be really useful.”

Mrs Hughes, of The New Severalls in Milton Lilbourne, is trying to gauge whether the scheme would be used in Pewsey.

She said: “It might be that a scheme like this has been tried out here before and it wasn’t useful.

“If it would be used then I’m happy to put myself out there and try to find a funding scheme and find the money for a feasibility study.

“There is no point in trying to find £20,000 for the scheme if it’s not feasible.

“If we don’t sort out the transport problem we’ll never sort out the unemployment problem.”

EPIC meets every other Thursday from 7pm- to 8.30pm at the Pewsey Youth Development Centre and young people from the village and surrounding areas can get advice from volunteers.

Tonight the normal meeting format has been set aside to discuss transport issues and anyone who thinks they can help is welcome to attend.

Mrs Hughes said: “We’ll also be discussing the transport links that we’ve already got, like the bus and rail links.”

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