Kirkcaldy teen turns life around after gaining award

Lorri Duncan, Keiran Smith and Andy Boyle. Pic: George McLuskie
Lorri Duncan, Keiran Smith and Andy Boyle. Pic: George McLuskie
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A Kirkcaldy teen has turned his life around after being awarded a City and Guilds certificate in bicycle mechanics.

Keiran Smith (14) from the Gallatown who has autism and attention-deficit disorder has completed level one of the certificate and is now working towards level two.

Keiran Smith. Pic: George McLuskie.

Keiran Smith. Pic: George McLuskie.

The schoolboy, who attends Kirkcaldy High School has suffered at the hands of bullies, but has taken control of his life thanks to the Gallatown Bike Hub.

Keiran is the youngest person in Scotland to be awarded the bicycle mechanics certificate.

He said: “When I work on the bikes, any anger that I have I take it out on them and use that to help me fix them up.

“Fixing bikes up helps to focus my mind,

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“I enjoy working on them and think I might be a bike mechanic in the future.

“I have been bullied at school because of my autism and people have damaged my bike before even when it was locked in the locker.”

He said he loved going to the Bike Hub where he has been given huge support.

“Shuggy and everyone else there have taught me so much – I feel safe there,” he said.

Keiran has also been presented with an outstanding behaviour award at his school for turning his life around.

Andy Boyle, Keiran’s stepdad said: “The difference we have seen in Keiran since he started going to the Bike Club has been amazing.

“He thrives there and is always putting himself forward to volunteer. He is doing really well there – we are very proud of him.

Lorri Duncan, Keiran’s mum said: “Keiran was getting into trouble at school and hanging around with the wrong crowd.

“It all came to a head when he was suspended, but he is back on the right track now.

“The Bike Hub has been absolutely brilliant in helping him.

“If it wasn’t for Shuggy, Keiran wouldn’t be where he is today.”

Shuggy Hughes, who is a lead development worker with the Kirkcaldy YMCA and also runs the Gallatown Bike Hub.

He said: “Keiran has worked extremely hard over the past year to achieve his level one City and Guilds in bicycle mechanics.

“He has attended the hub every Friday and has put a huge amount of energy and focus into gaining this qualification which is a great achievement at such a young age.

“He has developed a real aptitude on the tools and it’s obvious that he has found something he is passionate about. He has become a key member of the team here at the hub and also helps other local young people fix their bicycles, all of the team here are extremely proud of Keiran’s achievements.”