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Jaymee Davies hands a bike over to Josh (left), alongside Constable Mike Cornelius and Commissioner Andrew Coster. Photo: SUPPLIED

Hauraki teen’s ‘humbling’ bike project

Jaymee Davies is a 15-year-old juggling school work, playing club netball, coaching and crossfitting.
On top of all that, she runs a Bikes for Youth initiative that has benefitted a number of students in low socioeconomic areas of South Auckland.
Jaymee, the daughter of Senior Sergeant Richard Davies, helps put donated and refurbished bikes in the hands of kids in need, to encourage and inspire them to learn.
“I make whatever I need to work around it because [Bikes for Youth] is important to me,” she told The Profile.
Jaymee, who lived in South Auckland before she and her family moved to Maramarua, saw a New Zealand Police social media post around two years ago, which showed off a bikes initiative in Whanganui run by Senior Constable Jason Page.
She made contact with Jason and was inspired to find a way to benefit the community she grew up in. The idea was formed to put bikes in schools so that teachers could use them “as a reward system”.
“The kids have quite low attendance rates, so if they came to school, put in the effort, then they could take the bike home for the weekend but they have to return on Monday,” Jaymee said.
The bikes could also be used for education purposes and to get students to sports training.
Jaymee said this simple initiative had already displayed far-reaching benefits.
“These schools have 200-300 kids in them, and five bikes can make a difference to 300 lives, which is just surreal,” she said. “To us, a secondhand bike might just be a piece of junk, but to them, with a little bit of time put in by our bike mechanic, it can change everything. It just shows how much we take for granted.”
The bikes are donated by the community and sit between two police stations. Qualified bike mechanic Constable Mike Cornelius repairs and cleans the bikes in his own time, and has so far completed more than 20.
Bikes that aren’t in good nick are stripped and the parts are used on other bikes, Jaymee said.
Recently, the efforts of Bikes for Youth were celebrated by NZ Police when Police Commissioner Andrew Coster met with Jaymee at the Pukekohe Police Station.
A 13-year-old called Josh had his bike stolen while he treated his friends to lunch at McDonalds. He had bought the bike – his pride and joy – with money he had saved up and with a contribution from his dad, Aaron.
Staff at Pukekohe Police Station were able to call on Jaymee’s Bikes for Youth project, and a replacement was found for Josh. The day he called in to receive it, Commissioner Andrew Coster was visiting the station and was able to take part in the handover.
Jaymee said these kinds of moments were humbling.
“It had been a couple of weeks before we managed to get a bike back into [Josh’s] hands, and his dad said that Josh thought the Police would be too busy and that it didn’t matter. But it does matter,” she said.
Jaymee, who is in Year 11 at Hauraki Plains College, said she spends as much time as she needs managing Bikes for Youth. She said she was “so lucky” to have the support of her parents, the police, and her school dean, Mr Anish Chand.
She also thanked Inspector Amber Stobie and Area Commander Dave Glossop for their background work, and Bikes for Youth ambassador Mark Leaver. “We eventually want Bikes for Youth to get bigger and move around the country, and there are a few other things we’re looking into, but for that to happen we do need to seek permanent sponsorship.”
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