A perennial problem at Brighton Station has been bicycles abandoned in the station’s bicycle racks, which previously had to be stored and then disposed of.
A new partnership between the station and Martlets Hospice – which must raise £11,000 a day to care for patients and their families – now sees any bikes which are not reclaimed after three months removed by the hospice, refurbished and sold on to help raise funds for patient care.
Through a partnership with Recycle Your Cycle (RYC), the old bicycles are repaired and restored by local prison inmates, before being sold in the Martlets furniture warehouse and charity shops.
Eve Collins, head of retail at Martlets, commented: “This is a fantastic fundraising scheme for the hospice. We simply collect the bicycles from Brighton Station, drop them off at RYC and local prison inmates do an excellent job of repairing and servicing them and getting them back to their former glory.
“The bicycles sell like hot cakes in our warehouse and shops and the last lot of bikes we picked up raised almost £700 for our patient care.”
The initiative has been a winner all round as not only does it raise vital funds for Martlets Hospice and solves the problem of bike storage at Brighton Station, it also gives the local prison population the opportunity to learn skills and is fantastic for the environment as the bikes are repaired and recycled rather than ending up in the scrap metal yard.
Beth Holbrook, manager of Brighton Station, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project which has solved our storage problem and is raising money for the Martlets, one of our chosen charities.
“The charity partnership with Martlets has been excellent and we have raised almost £20,000 for them in the last two years. We know how important their vital care is in the local Brighton & Hove community and are proud to be able to continue to help them raise the money they need via this project.”
Mark Abrahams, CEO of Recycle Your Cycle, added: “With this scheme, prison inmates are offered the ability to gain a valuable skill to help with their rehabilitation and future employment prospects, moreover it also enables local people to gain the social and health benefits of cycling by offering them refurbished bicycles at a competitive price.”
Hospice UK is working with Recycle Your Cycle to help other Hospice UK members make money from old bikes. Any organisation wishing to donate bicycles, or new hospice retailers wanting to become a member, should visit the Recycle Your Cycle website to find out more.