The recycling programme which is run by Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA) received 27 bikes from the rail operator Southern.
All of the bikes had been left unclaimed and had been in storage for months at Southern’s depot in Horsham. This latest batch of bicycles was delivered to SCDA’s workshop in Newhaven and is part of 180 bikes donated to the charity since they began working together in 2020.
SCDA’s workshop is part of ‘Get Socially Active/Recycle’ programme which supports local unemployed people to develop skills to enable them to renovate the bikes back to a roadworthy condition. The practical skills learned via the programme create work experience, which in turn supports a route to employment.
The renovated bikes are sold by SCDA in order to raise funding for the programme, which is supported by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. The project welcomes donations of unwanted bikes and volunteers who have repair and maintenance skills.
Lee Wakefield, SCDA Employability Service Manager said:
“We are very grateful to Southern for their kind donation. Our participants in the Recycle programme gain valuable skills in bicycle maintenance and repair before the refurbished bikes are sold on to local people. We are looking ahead to a busy 2022 – the demand for refurbished bikes is growing, and so is the need to continue supporting people in our local community to gain the skills they need to get back to work.”
Chris Fowler, Southern’s Customer Services Director, said:
“It’s fantastic to be working with SCDA not only to promote healthy, green transport by extending the life of previously unwanted bikes, but to help provide truly life-changing support for the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
The rail operator also donates bikes to other charity recycling schemes in West Sussex, Surrey and South London.
Chris also said:
“We’re building strong local partnerships right across our network to help communities recover and prosper, and to keep Britain moving safely and sustainably,”