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Teaching prisoners the skills to fix bikes – and rebuild their lives

Bike Back is an innovative scheme delivered by Life Cycle UK operating in Bristol and Derby. It uses bicycle refurbishment as the vehicle to provide prisoners with meaningful activity and recognised qualifications, helping them re-build their confidence – and their lives.

Life Cycle collects donations of unwanted and broken bikes from the local community and takes them to a workshop inside the secure area of the prison. Here they teach prisoners the skills to refurbish the bikes to a high standard. They’re then sold to people on low incomes from the local community. Around eight prisoners at a time (c40 each year) are given the chance to learn these new skills whilst working towards a City & Guilds accredited cycle mechanic qualification. Bike Back encourages prisoners to look forward to the future, and arms them with the skills to build a crime-free life upon release. In 2016:  90% of prisoners they worked with said they left the workshop feeling more motivated;  75% gained a qualification; and 77% said they wanted to complete further training after release.

Case studies:

Ernie: “It’s a worthwhile thing to do and made me feel happy that I am doing something positive, doing something for the community out there.”

Al: “It’s made me realise I can do things without drugs. I can be a more socially acceptable person and it’s not so hard.”

Contact: Becky Whitlock – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 0117 353 4580

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