Bike Back is an initiative of Life Cycle UK run in partnership with two prisons – HMP Bristol and HMP Stocken to help prisoners build confidence, self-esteem, and employability skills through bicycle mechanics.
We teach prisoners how to strip down, clean and refit unwanted bikes that have been donated by the public, giving them a new lease of life. The bikes are then sold at affordable prices with the intention of helping local people on low incomes to get a bike and start cycling. Life Cycle has recently formed a partnership with local charity Bristol Reconnect to develop a supported bike workshop, which will enable ex-offenders to continue learning and gain valuable work experience, thereby helping them to break out of the negative cycles that otherwise often lead to a return to prison.
We were impressed by the holistic nature of the Bike Back project and by the various strands that it encapsulates – education and skills training and work experience for prisoners, recycling and giving back to the local community. The new partnership with Bristol Reconnect is a natural extension of that holistic approach and we are excited to see how it takes shape.