Recycle Your Cycle encourages charities to collect unwanted bikes, which are then repaired and refurbished by local prison inmates. The charity then sells on the refitted bikes, providing a six month warranty.
A number of hospices have already signed up to the scheme, which is being rolled-out nationally.
The scheme enables hospice retailers to make money from bikes that would otherwise have found their way to the local tip, or gathered cobwebs in garden sheds.
Recycle Your Cycle is rolling-out the bicycle workshop scheme to HRM Prisons in Cardiff, Midlands and Manchester, allowing prisoners to develop useful skills, aid their rehabilitation and improve their job prospects on release.
Tim Stewart, head of retail at ellenor, said: “I had always been uncomfortable with offering donated bikes for sale as the majority of our staff and volunteers don’t have the skills required to ensure they were properly roadworthy so, in the main, what few bikes we had donated ended up going to our local scrap man for next to no money.
“That’s all changed now. The bikes that Recycle Your Cycle supply are fully refurbished and safe to use, and I can now sell them with confidence. Each bike comes with a report to show that it has been tested, and a suggested selling price. I have managed to get over £250 for some of the bikes they have supplied.
“Not only have they provided me with fully serviced and refurbished bikes at a very reasonable rate, but they are also providing an additional opportunity for developing new skills in the prison service.
“Now that people see we are selling these bikes, we get many more donated, which I just ship to Recycle Your Cycle for refurbishment. They collect them when they deliver my new stock. I also told all our staff and volunteers what we were doing, and that generated a number of bikes for refurbishment.
“This has been a great exercise for us, and the sales of the bikes have certainly gone some way to counter the continued fall in rag income.”
Mark Abrahams, the founder of Recycle Your Cycle, added: “We want to become the UK’s largest bicycle refurbisher. There are a number of similar organisations to ours which have been set up to export bikes, but ours is unique in wanting to help UK charities to raise money in an ethical, green way.”
Hospices are being encouraged to collect used bikes, which Recycle Your Cycle will then collect, refurbish and return or pass to another participating hospice. Any organisation wishing to donate bicycles or new hospice retailers wanting to become a member should visit the Recycle Your Cycle website.