Charity Spotlight: Life Cycle UK

Trade-In is back for 2018 and there are many good reasons why it’s our favourite campaign: It’s springtime and everyone is getting back into the spirit of cycling, customers can save on a shiny new bike while decluttering their sheds or garages at the same time, and, best of all, each and every donated bike serves a good cause! Proud to be working with 18 social enterprises across the UK, here we put the spotlight on our different partner charities throughout the campaign. Next up, Life Cycle UK…

Charity name

Life Cycle UK

 

Location

The CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN

 

Established

28th September 1999

 Life Cycle

Prime aim

‘Bike Back’ is our innovative project that teaches prisoners the skills to refurbish unwanted bicycles. The bikes are then sold at affordable prices to people on low incomes, helping them to unlock the many benefits of cycling:

 

“I can get to work – I literally wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It’s invaluable, irreplaceable” – Alan, bike buyer

 

Number of employees/volunteers

We have a full time mechanic / City & Guilds instructor who works in the secure part of the prison, supported by a regular volunteer.  In the Life Cycle Hub, outside the prison, we have two mechanics and a dedicated team of 10 volunteers who give advice to prospective buyers and oversee all sales and donations. This year, we were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary service. This is the highest award given to groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done by volunteers in their communities.

 

 >> Evans Cycles Trade-In to Benefit Hospice UK <<

Numbers of bikes recycled/refurbished each year

300+

 

Workshops/courses given

Our workshop inside the secure part of HMP Bristol is open five days a week. As well as learning to fix bikes, the prisoners have the opportunity to gain a Level 1 City & Guilds cycle mechanic qualification – boosting their chances of making a fresh start after release and gaining employment in the cycle industry.

 

Life Cycle 2

Favourite anecdote

“The bike workshop keeps you occupied in your mind and helped me realise what I can do: before I could only fix punctures, now I can do loads. I haven’t had a day off in 6 weeks – I ring my mum every morning, and say I’m going to work, and she says, oh, you can work then! When you come out you can work!” – Prisoner, HMP Bristol

 

How Evans Cycles Trade-In benefits Life Cycle

We rely solely on donations of bikes from the general public. With the backing of a big name like Evans Cycles and a keen community of cyclists, we hope to have a bigger supply of bikes for our prisoners to work on. This means we can teach more skills, refurbish more bikes, and enable more people on low incomes to unlock the benefits of cycling.

 

 >> Charity Spotlight: Gloucestershire Bike Project <<

Future projects/ambitions

We aim to continue to help prisoners turn their lives around. In the long term we would like to offer work placements to prisoners after release to help them into employment.

 Life Cycle 1

Anything else you’d like to mention

We are extremely proud that Bike Back recently won the 2017 Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation.

 

We also receive praise from key figures from local government, criminal justice and HM Prison Service:

“Prisoners in the workshop earn a recognised qualification that is relevant to the local jobs market and taught in a way that is accessible to those who struggle in the classroom… I wish the project every success for the future”

–  Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset

 

“Bike Back is an inspiring scheme that creates multiple benefits… to create a truly inclusive city we must do everything in our power to help these men build themselves a brighter future. I believe Bike Back is one such tool”

– Marvin Rees, elected Mayor of Bristol

 

“Bike Back epitomises ‘through the gate’ community rehabilitative partnership working. I am privileged to work with Bike Back and hope you will consider supporting this excellent project”

– Steve Cross, Governor, HMP Bristol

 

>> To find out more about Life Cycle please visit their website <<

 

>> To find out more about Trade-In head to the Evans Cycles website <<

 

 

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