(l to r) PCSO Maggie Griffiths, Inspector Rachel Joyce, recipient Terry, project volunteers Adam and Alan
It’s been a busy few days for the Lichfield Re:Cycle bike re-use, repair and skill sharing project. I took a call last week from a local PCSO asking if we could make use of a number of unclaimed lost or stolen bikes they had. They wanted them to be used by a local project for the benefit of the community.
A couple of days earlier I had seen a twitter exchange between our MP and a local man called Terry who had his bike stolen in the town. He had left his mountain bike locked up outside HSBC in the thought it would be under the gaze of the CCTV camera on the corner of the bank. Turns out it wasn’t and that probably contributed to someone thinking they could get away with cropping his lock and taking his bike.
Terry uses his bike to get to work up at Fradley and has been walking the five miles there and back for a week now. The generous donation we received couldn’t have come at a better time and we were able to offer Terry a replacement at no cost that we had cleaned and serviced. As part of our volunteer project we offer bikes to people on free long term loan for as long as they want to use them. We ask that when they have finished with them they return so we can pass it on to someone else.
Another recipient of a bike from the same donation has been Chris. He has scrapped his car this week as it was costing too much to run. He too works on the industrial estate in Fradley and the cost of getting a bus up there was going to put a serious dent in his wages. He’s a tall fellow but luckily we had this large frame mountain bike ready to roll.
Our project has been going for nearly a year now. Volunteers work out of their own sheds and garages, using their own tools and work on the project for free. We have attended community events and offered advice and skill sharing demonstrations as well as refurbishing and rescuing abandoned and donated bikes for re-use.
If anybody is in need of a bike we are happy to take your details and requirements and add you to our wait list. We are always looking for volunteers to help out and donations of time, bikes and expertise would be most welcomed. You can find out more about the project on the following website or by contacting Lichwheeld.