Members of the TAG Bikes team in Huntingdon cheered as they took delivery of a truck load of bicycles for recycling - a consignment of more than 50 unclaimed machines from Govia Thameslink Railway.
TAG Bikes is part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Supporting into Work programme which offers guidance and support for people with learning difficulties who repair and restore the bikes as an entry to the world of work. The bikes are then sold on to the community.
The bikes were donated after a GVT member of staff saw a news item about TAG Bikes and thought they could help by offering unclaimed cycles found at the region’s railway stations.
Robert Bierton, TAG Bikes employment skills worker for Cambridgeshire County Council, said, “We are always extremely moved by the generosity and kind hearts that exist out there, especially in our region. The recent response we have received from media coverage has been astonishing and positively overwhelming, there has been a magical feeling in our workshop since.
“The bike donations we receive are vital to the success and development of TAG Bikes. Supporting into Work TAG Bikes has never been about financial gain but more directed towards our learners’ development and getting our finished bikes back into new homes. Without these donations we would not be able to do either.”
GTR Passenger Services Director Stuart Cheshire said: “More and more people are cycling to our Thameslink and Great Northern stations because we’ve been putting in better facilities with new racks and CCTV.
“Surprisingly, some people do abandon their bikes so when we heard the plea to help this great Supporting into Work project, we got straight in touch. There’s no better cause I can think of to benefit, and we’re glad to help.”
The bikes, brought in from a GTR centre at Letchworth, take the total donated to TAG to around 150 so far this year.
TAG Bikes, in Ambury Road, is a not for profit project which has been running for three years and has worked with 25 learners, seven of whom have found a mixture of paid and voluntary work.