Recycling project gives old bicycles a new lease of life
- Credit: Archant
A bike recycling project in Huntingdon is creating work opportunities for people with learning disabilities - as well as free bikes for less fortunate members of the community.
TAG Bikes, based at Huntingdon Community Centre, in Ambury Road, has already stopped more than 600 old bikes going in to landfill over the last three years by refurbishing and selling them.
It has worked with 25 learners since it opened and has seen seven go into a mixture of paid and voluntary placements.
Members of the TAG team repair and service the unwanted bikes, with 90 per cent going back on the road and the rest being stripped for spare parts and recycling.
Sales of the recycled cycles have been going well, enabling TAG to donate around 12 bikes and accessories to less fortunate members of the community each year.
The not-for-profit project is part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Supporting into Work programme, which assists people with learning difficulties, putting them into an employment-style environment, with the aim of building up their confidence and skills and preparing them for the world of work.
Robert Bierton, TAG Bikes employment skills worker, said: “The project is going from strength to strength with something for everyone and a range of prices.
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“I see development, fun, excitement and enthusiasm with all my workers which fills me full of satisfaction and gives me an easy reason to get out of bed.”
He said: “I like to give back this enjoyment to my learners by hopefully creating a fun, learning and engaging environment.
“I love the fact that this project has fully opened the doors for our community centre, both verbally on the telephone and face-to-face customer engagement in the shop.”
Mr Bierton added: “This has helped the learners with many life development skills. All my thanks go to the customers and people that have supported us since we opened.”
Nick, one of the team, said: “I really enjoy working in TAG Bikes because I see all my friends and learn together,
“TAG Bikes has also helped me become more confident and I now work two days a week at British Heart Foundation.”
TAG Bikes is open Monday to Friday 9am-3.30pm, apart from between Christmas and the new year, and information is available at: www.facebook.com/TagBikesHuntingdonCommunity.