Last week I was invited to visit HMP Bristol, where the Bike Back project was celebrating winning a prestigious national award.
Bike Back is a scheme that takes donations of unwanted bicycles from the public and teaches prisoners at HMP Bristol the mechanic skills to strip down, repair and rebuild them. Once fixed, bikes are sold on at affordable prices to help people on lower incomes to get a bike, start cycling and reduce their transport costs. Bike Back offers prisoners the chance to gain City & Guilds accredited qualifications in Cycle Mechanics, hopefully helping prisoners gain employment as bike mechanics on release.
They are always looking for bike donations and volunteers, and hold regular bike sales. Their website has more information: https://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/bike-recycling
The award they won is the Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation, which recognises outstanding rehabilitative work with prisoners undertaken by a small charity, working in partnership with prison staff. The prestigious annual award was set up in memory of Lord Corbett, former chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group, and is administered by the Prison Reform Trust.
It’s great to see Bike Back winning this well-deserved award and the event last week, with the Prison Governor and Police & Crime Commissioner, was an excellent way of celebrating that success. The work that Bike Back do is exactly the kind of reform-based project that has the most impact on the lives and rehabilitation of prisoners -; long may it continue!
Life Cycle, the charity that runs Bike Back, is looking for donations. If you’d be interested you can find out more here: https://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/support