Halfords have announced a new scheme which will recondition and donate bikes and helmets to primary school children in disadvantaged areas across the country, with the first 10 bikes presented to pupils at Oasis Academy Long Cross, Bristol. The announcement was made at a cycling summit attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and key cycling stakeholders.
The bikes will come from Halfords’ national trade-in events the company regularly holds with customers who donate unwanted bikes. Each bike will be reconditioned through a rehabilitation programme Halfords runs with Onley prison, which trains offenders in bike mechanic skills, giving them future employment opportunities and aiding personal development.
In its first year, the new scheme will donate around 500 children’s bikes and new bike helmets to schools in the eight cycling cities of Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich. Schools are invited to apply at www.halfordscompany.com/responsibility/community .
Halfords’ CEO Matt Davies says: “We know there are thousands of children across the UK who unfortunately don’t have access to a bike. By reconditioning and donating these bikes to schools across the country, we are helping hundreds more children to develop confidence, independence and a life-long love of cycling.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg says:
“The Tour de France in Yorkshire and the 2012 Olympics were such great adverts for British cycling, capturing the nation’s imagination and inspiring a new generation of cyclists. I’m committed to making that a lasting legacy. I have pushed to make cycling safer and more accessible. So I’m delighted that this scheme by Halfords is giving children, irrespective of their backgrounds, the chance to get on their bikes and help Britain become a leading cycling nation.”
Halfords already runs a free Kids’ Holiday Bike Workshop at its stores offering children the chance to learn basic bike maintenance and safety skills. So far, 48,000 children aged between 7 and 11 and their parents have attended the workshops. In schools, Halfords offers term-time Gear Up! workshops and 12,000 children have completed this scheme which teaches safety and bike maintenance skills to children in the final year of primary school. Over 7,500 cubs have also attended free bike workshops towards their Cyclist Activity Badge too.
Through national trade-in events Halfords has donated 10,000 adult bikes to the charity Re-Cycle, which sends unwanted bikes to people in need in Africa and teaches the skills needed for repair and maintenance for a sustainable solution. This new schools donation programme is the next step in Halfords’ community strategy.