YOBs on bikes to help elderly

13-03-2015'Bishopbriggs Academy, YOBS, Steve Shanks Police liaison officer and Aileen Macdonald-Huak project co-ordinator YOBS with Pupils.'Picture Paul McSherry.
13-03-2015'Bishopbriggs Academy, YOBS, Steve Shanks Police liaison officer and Aileen Macdonald-Huak project co-ordinator YOBS with Pupils.'Picture Paul McSherry.

There is nothing loutish 
about this bunch of YOBs at Bishopbriggs Academy who are getting on their bikes 
to help the elderly.

The fourth and sixth-year pupils at the school have
volunteered to look out for their elderly neighbours in the community as part of 
a special initiative.

YOBs (Youth on Bikes) is the brainchild of Aileen 
Macdonald-Haak at East Dunbartonshire Cycle Co-op, aimed at bridging the gap between young and old.

As well as visiting older people in their homes in Bishopbriggs and doing their grocery shopping, the young volunteers will also help to educate them on using modern technology, like iPads, and to be vigilant about bogus workmen. The project is 
being supported by the local police community involvement team.

School liaison police officer Steve Shanks said: “Working with the youth volunteers in the school, I have been able to fully brief the YOBs team on personal safety, cycle safety and security to keep themselves safe, out in the community.

“They will travel in pairs and wear hi-visibility identifiable clothing. I also had the opportunity to teach the children about 
bogus callers who target the elderly and vulnerable to 
enable them to be vigilant about this sort of activity.

“The over-60s are often 
specifically targeted. The YOBs have also been informed of what action they should take if someone visits the homes they are attending and if they believe any 
suspicious persons to be a doorstep criminal.

“They are being told to 
report any suspicious activity immediately to the police. “

He added that the idea 
behind the project was for a “mutual benefit to all involved”.

He said: “Aileen, who is in charge of the YOBs, is immensely passionate about 
the project.

“The YOBs are a great asset to both the community and to the police.

“It is important we 
recognise the important role and resources both older people and young people have to offer and the knock-on positive effects this can have on communities and their local environment.”