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Not all inspiring characters are fictional
Universal Channel is shining a light on people from around the UK and Ireland who inspire others through their determination and extraordinary character.
These rare individuals have the spark to dream big, matched with a steely resolve to pursue that dream with unwavering commitment. They are authentic, talented and 100% character.
This is Amir Miah’s Story – Bike Entrepreneur
Amir grew up in a rough London estate which made him see things differently. Knowing that more young people went into prison than those who’ve continued education, he felt the need to take action.
At a young age, Amir used to buy and sell stolen bicycles for pocket money, his parents couldn’t afford to buy him gym clothes for school so he found his own way of doing things, he soon realised that there wasn’t a positive outlook ahead for himself or his friends, he had to find his own out of the situation. Amir came to realise a bike was not just a piece of metal, it was something of value, something much more.
With this new outlook Amir realised he could do much more for those in his community, he created ‘Your Bike’, a project that gives young people training and employment opportunities.
Being from a school where you are more likely to be in a prison cell rather than studying A-Levels in a classroom, he decided to set up his own company. Not to make money, but to do the right thing for his local area.
Amir believes that the people he works with have many hidden talents that need to be found, honed and channelled. He uses his bike maintenance courses as a way to unlock the potential in young people that could have otherwise been used for something destructive to them, their family and community. He works with Ex-offenders, those in serious organised crime, gang violence, or those who are not in employment, education or training, they get the chance to swap the streets for bike grease.
Amir has had his own bike stolen from outside the shop. “I think that’s probably karma. I was just opposite getting a coffee – the kids there are quick!”
More than the money, Amir’s drive stems from his ability to change someone’s life for the better. He believes that by throwing a stepladder back to where he came from can help others step up as well.
Amir is truly inspiring and is a guiding light in what can end up being a hopeless outlook for kids who have been left behind by society, giving them confidence, skills and emotional support at a time of life that it’s most needed. Bringing them into the cycling community provides them with an extended family.
We get bikes from the MET Police. We up-cycle them and then we sell them on to provide training. We get our trainees to learn the retail side of things as well, to learn customer services skills and the value of bikes.
Lorraine Galvin’s Story – Survivor to Life Saver
Lorraine was inspired to become a Lifeboat Crew Member after she capsized with 4 others at sea in an area with no rescue service when she was just 17 years old, but luckily they were rescued by a fisherman who just happened to be going home with his catch.
She and four other rowing crew spent almost 3 hours in the water losing hope of being rescued. She used this experience to fuel her drive to save others and undertook rigorous training to become a lifeboat volunteer.
In 2002 the inshore rescue was taken over by the RNLI and Lorraine is now one of 16 volunteers with Wexford RNLI who are on call 24/7. Check out Lorraine’s full story here: www.universalchannel.co.uk
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Find out how you can help Lifeboats in your community by visiting the RNLI website: https://rnli.org/