Charity and Good Works

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Recyke y’Bike is a charity. We’ve been around since 2006, and generate our own funds through refurbishing donated bikes which we then sell. This is a major part of our charitable objectives, and we provide a low-cost transport solution for thousands of people in the North East. It also raises the money to fund our other activities:

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Bikes arriving in Kenya

We send around 500 bikes a year to development projects in Kenya and The Gambia. Our partner for this work is Pioneer People, who handle the logistics. The bikes are used as part of microfinance programmes, encouraging local people to have a real stake in improving their futures. The bikes needed for this are more robust, basic models, which make it easier for people to maintain and source the spares for them.

We give away around 150 bikes a year in the North East. These go to schools, to community groups, and to refugees and asylum seekers in Tyneside. Asylum seekers get a very small amount to live on while their case is considered, yet in addition to feeding themselves with this, they also have other costs – typically they have to travel quite large local distances to register with local authorities, meet their case workers, etc. Some days it can mean making the choice between eating or buying the bus ticket to meet these appointments. A bike solves this, and we’re glad when we can help out like this.

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Syrian refugees who we were able to help in the summer of 2016

We have around 40 volunteers working with us. Many of our volunteers are just looking to give something back, but some also have mental health issues, some have been unemployed for a long time, and some have learning difficulties. We treat them all as valued members of our family, and give them a place where their contribution is valued. We train them in cycle maintenance, improve their social skills, and increase their employability. Of our ten staff, nine started out as volunteers, and we’re proud of our record of former volunteers who now have paid jobs in other organisations too.

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Volunteers learning from Adrian, our master wheel builder

We recycle bikes and save them from landfill. Of the 2,000 or so bikes that get donated every year to, around 1,700 get refurbished and go on to have a second (or third, or fourth) life. Around 300 do get scrapped – we separate out all the components and different metals so that nothing gets wasted.

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Skye, one of our former volunteers on the day she came back to tell us about the job she’d landed with our support

Our Charitable Objectives are defined as:

  1. To develop the capacity and skills of the socially disadvantaged community of the north east of England in such a way that they are better able to identify, and help meet, their needs and to participate more fully in society
  2. To preserve and protect the health of the public by encouraging cycling
  3. To advance the education of all ages of the public in the safe use, re-use and maintenance of bicycles
  4. The protection and preservation of the environment for the public benefit by saving bicycles from landfill, the promotion of bicycle re-use and recycling

You can find out more about what we do from our annual report. You can also find out about the charity’s trustees and staff on this page, which includes the official list of our Charitable Objectives that we report on.