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Award-winning project gives free bikes to Forces families

Date Published: 23 December 2019
Rutland MYBIKE

More than 100 bicycles have been handed out free to Armed Forces Families based at Kendrew Barracks in Rutland, thanks to an award-winning scheme delivered by Rutland County Council and HMP Stocken.

The Rutland MYBIKE project has been run by Rutland County Council’s transport team in partnership with HMP Stocken since 2017. It sees old and damaged bicycles repaired and reconditioned so they can be given free of charge to adults and children in Rutland who don’t have a bikes of their own.

Many of the bikes come from local recycling centres and are reconditioned to full working order by inmates using HMP Stocken’s workshops. Together with bikes donated by local businesses like Rutland Cycling and with support from Oakham Cycle Centre, 476 bikes have now been returned and given out over the life of the project.

The project has proven so successful that it won the ‘best partnership’ category in last year’s Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards.

The Rutland MYBIKE event at Kendrew Barracks was organised to help support Armed Forces personnel and families who may need a bike to travel to school, for leisure or simply to move around the base.

The event was held at Cottesmore Academy on Wednesday 18 December and attended by High Sheriff of Rutland Mrs Margaret Miles. A total of 102 bikes given out to cyclists of all ages.

“MYBIKE has been a wonderful success story for Rutland and I’m so pleased at the number of people who are now benefitting. We handed out 19 bikes at our very first event way back in June 2017. To have come so far and be handing out our 450th bike here at Kendrew Barracks is just amazing. To be able to support our local Armed Forces Community, who sacrifice so much for us, makes this event doubly special and something we should all be really proud of.”
Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Cabinet Member for Transport

"This is a really great project, not least for the people who receive a new bike. Some of our prisoners know nothing about bikes when they start working with us but will eventually come out with a City & Guilds certificate in cycle maintenance, which is a recognised qualification that can eventually help them into meaningful employment. They’re also very proud of the work they do. They put a huge amount effort into each restoration and you can really see what it means to them."
Neil Walsh, Workshop Instructor at HMP Stocken

Rutland MYBIKE is coordinated by Rutland County Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer and involves adult and children’s social services, as well as the Council’s Community Safety Team, local businesses, schools and colleges. 

The project aims to ensure that everyone in Rutland can access a bike to give them a form of free sustainable transport for work, education, training or recreation.

To find out more about Rutland MYBIKE and the project’s eligibility criteria, please email: mybike@rutland.gov.uk or call: 01572 722 577.

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