An innovative prison programme that encourages inmates to repair and recycle bikes will aim to refurbish over 900 bikes for hospital staff and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping prisoners gain new skills and turn their lives around.
- 900 bikes to be repaired as part of prison programme
- Project helps prisoners develop vital skills needed for employment on release
- Part of government plans to build back safer from the pandemic
The project, which is run in HMP Hewell and HMP Aylesbury, not only helps recycle bikes, but also provides specialist training to prisoners helping them gain valuable skills and providing more job opportunities after they are released. Once they have completed their training, they achieve the City & Guilds Level 1 and 2 qualification in bike maintenance.
The repurposed bikes will be distributed to hospital staff and children from disadvantaged backgrounds across England.
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, said: “Equipping prisoners with the skills to help secure a job upon release is vital to enabling them to turn their lives around, providing them with a purpose and allowing them to give something back to society.
The Lifecycle project is a terrific scheme, providing skills in demand, and recognising the doctors, nurses and other key workers who have been the heroes of our pandemic response.”
Governor of HMP Hewell Ralph Lubkowski, said: “This is a great opportunity for all of the prisoners at our repair shop. It helps them gain experience and pick up valuable skills which are very well respected on the job market, and will be a very positive addition to our Pathways to Employment strategy here at Hewell.
We are proud to be working in partnership with the Lifecycle Project to deliver this innovative recycling programme.”
The Lifecycle Project team said: “The ambition of the Lifecycle Project is to create a circular economy by upskilling and providing employment opportunities for ex-offenders, while creating sustainable transport in local communities and promoting health and wellbeing to key workers: ‘Donate, Renovate and Relocate’.
This initiative will have long-term sustainable benefits, helping people move to a healthier, zero carbon mode of transport and reducing waste. We are delighted to be part of it.“
The first delivery of donated bikes into prisons is due to made later this month with the first delivery of bikes being made to keyworkers from the end of November.
The scheme has so far saved around 200 bikes and members of the public can donate bikes at Lifecycle Project hubs; Peterborough Hospital, West Middlesex Hospital and John Radcliffe Hospital, before being sent to HMP Hewell and HMP Aylesbury.