On the 6th of June Re~Cycle held its annual African partners meeting. The day proved a huge success and was a brilliant opportunity for story and idea exchange. There were fascinating talks from members of Wonder Years Centre of Excellence (WYCE), Kaloko Trust and Glad's House, explaining the incredible work they do and how the bikes Re~Cycle provide, help them change the lives of their targeted beneficiaries. After a morning of talks, members of Re~Cycle had the chance to present recent developments as well as the vision for the next 5 years. All in all, a hugely productive day!
Posted: Fri, 10/06/2016 - 18:11
Posted: Tue, 24/05/2016 - 13:49
Saturday 28th May
Opening hours: 9am – 1pm
Payment: cash or card accepted
Location: Re~Cycle, Unit 8 The Grove Estate, Colchester Road, Wormingford, Colchester, C06 3AJ
Posted: Tue, 10/05/2016 - 18:03
Re~Cycle would like to thank the 10 Infinis engineers who spent a day at our HQ, helping unload hundreds of delivered bikes, recycling parts and preparing and loading bikes into shipping containers destined for our partners in Africa.
Their assistance couldn’t have come at a better time – it’s our busiest time of the year with bike deliveries from the Halfords trade-in coming in thick and fast!
“What a brilliant idea and charity. Cycling was a passion of mine as a youngster. Volunteering today was a no-brainer,” said Darren Smith, Infinis Asst Regional Manager across the South.
The 10 volunteers from Infinis, a renewable energy company that generates electricity from landfill gas and wind turbines, spent the whole day at our HQ and managed to prepare and load an impressive 180 bikes - this would have taken our small team of volunteers and staff over a week to do!
“This is my first month at Infinis. It’s been really helpful meeting the rest of the team on a day like this. What a great idea” Matthew Gough, Landfill Gas Technician describing the day. HR Director, Paul Gregson, taking part in the team-volunteering scheme he helped launch, joined the team of gas field staff. “It’s great to be part of it and we want to encourage more staff to get involved in the future.”
Posted: Thu, 21/04/2016 - 17:52
Great news! Re~Cycle picked up a gong at the Business Charity Awards for our long term partnership with Halfords. The awards are run by Third Sector magazine to recognise the outstanding contribution made by businesses in the UK to good causes.
Thanks to the partnership more than 20,000 bicycles have been donated, resulting in an estimated 120,000 people in Africa benefiting from the scheme because bikes are generally shared. That’s 300 tonnes of bike saved from a life of disuse!
In addition, the company's staff have raised £267,000 for Re~Cycle, and some volunteer their time to work at Re~Cycle HQ in Colchester, Essex as well as working with our charity partners in Africa.
The partnership has been instrumental in helping the public access Re~Cycle, with 80 stores across the country acting as permanent bike drop-off points and a yearly national trade-in event that see’s thousands of people donating their bikes via any Halfords store. We’d like to thank Halfords and everyone who’s made this partnership such a success and look forward to changing more lives through bike re-use.
Photo credit: Leo Wilkinson
Posted: Wed, 20/04/2016 - 15:41
Thanks to a recent grant from the E D Charitable Trust we’re helping our project partners in The Gambia to build a new bicycle workshop. During 2016 we’ll also source and send 900 bikes from the UK and provide bike mechanic and business training. This will give the Wonder Years Centre of Excellence (WYCE) team the skills, equipment and facilities to grow their already thriving bicycle social enterprise. The money they generate from their enterprise will be reinvested in the running costs of the WYCE school and health clinic (the only ones for 5kms) in a rural village called Madina Salam.
Why is this project needed?
The Gambia is ranked 172nd out of 185 in the 2014 Human Development Index and the Madina Salam village, where this project is based, is in a rural location with limited government help and yet has an expanding population.
In Africa 75% of rural dwellers rely on agricultural trade to make their living and so having transport links to farms and local markets to sell produce and check prices is important. Bikes are the primary mode of transport in rural Gambia and this workshop will increase access to affordable transport and repairs as well as supporting the essential services provided by the WYCE school and health clinic.
Jason, our Africa Programmes Manager recently visited the project and found that the mechanics at the bike shop and workshop in Madina Salam need an improved workshop space to make sure that they can offer a good repairs service to the community.
What difference will this grant make?
This project will give new skills and confidence to two bike mechanics and an apprentice, get a community cycling and bring the benefits of bikes such as better farmer to market transport and help people carry heavy loads for work or farming. The income that WYCE makes from selling and repairing bikes will contribute to the running costs of a nursery, primary, and lower secondary school and health clinic benefitting 500 school pupils and 3,000 health clinic patients.
In keeping with the ethos of Re~Cycle and WYCE, the aim of this project is sustainability with the intention that the workshop builds on the current self-financing model. Along with ongoing bike sales income, additional sales will be generated by customers drawn to a ‘one stop shop’ which includes a professional repairs service. Future project costs such as wages, further training, re-supply of spares and profit to WYCE will come from the income generated by bike sales and repairs. Two containers of bikes sent within the project period will ensure that the mechanics have plenty of stock to work on into 2017 and Re~Cycle will encourage importation of bikes from multiple partners, beyond Re~Cycle.
Posted: Fri, 15/04/2016 - 17:56
Our first 2016 shipment of bikes for our partners Wonder Years Centre of Excellence was unloaded in The Gambia yesterday, in Madina Salam. It appears most of the nearby school turned out to help unload the 491 donated bicycles as well as dozens of bags of spare parts and accessories. And a huge thanks to all WYCE staff who ran to the aid of the truck driver after he got stuck in the sand attempting a three-point turn! Also inside this container was a new complete bicycle repair tool kit arriving in anticipation of the new bicycle repair workshop build beginning later this month!
Posted: Tue, 12/04/2016 - 17:39
Heads up! Are you looking for a new ride? Trade in your old bike now and receive 10% off any bike!
We are proud to announce a nationwide trade-in event with our corporate partner Halfords!
Between Friday 14th and Tuesday 19th April, you can donate your bike at any of Halfords’ 460 stores. By doing so you will have the option of receiving 10% off a new bike!
Posted: Mon, 04/04/2016 - 20:42
Our third container of 2016 has safely arrived and unloaded in Accra, Ghana with Village Bicycle Project. The 482 bicycles inside will now be sorted, and those suitable for their workshops will be prepped before heading out to programmes in the northern regions later this month.
This container was especially important to us, as it was the first ever consigned by Prosper Dzandu, who we’ve been working closely with since way back in 2010! Prosper (pictured here doused in talcum powder) originally came to us via another workshop we installed on the outskirts of the Greater Accra Region. Formally a skilled kente clothe weaver, he retrained as a bicycle repairer before joining the VBP team as a trainer in 2013. He’s now progressed to being a consignee after more than 2 years of service distributing bicycles and repair training via Village Bicycle Project’s fantastic One Day Workshop Programme.
It’s been a long journey for Prosper, who aptly named his own bicycle repair business in his home town ‘No Rush in Life Bicycle Workshop’, and we’re so proud to see him succeed. Congratulations Prosper! Ayekooooo!!
Posted: Thu, 31/03/2016 - 13:56
Ride25, the ultimate cycling holiday adventure company, support Re~Cycle through donations and promotion to their customers. For every individual that signs up to a Ride25 cycling trip, the company donates £20 to Re~Cycle. In 2015 they very generously donated over £10,000 to Re~Cycle, and believe charitable giving and support is part of their business.
“Supporting Re~Cycle is part of our business DNA, we love the charity’s aims and values. Having a relationship with a charity that makes a difference to communities through bicycles just makes sense to Ride25 and our customers,” says John Readman, Founder of Ride25. With plans to double rider numbers in 2016 they are looking to extend that support further and have confirmed partnership with Re~Cycle for at least another year.
Plans are now in process for some exciting joint fundraising ventures that include prize draws and a specific Re~Cycle cycle trip – an amazing opportunity for individuals to combine a holiday with a personal challenge and fundraising! Watch this space for confirmations and details, but in the meantime visit their website www.ride25.com and keep up to date via twitter @Ride25World
Posted: Sun, 27/03/2016 - 10:55
As the Spring and Summer arrive, we are expecting to receive large numbers of bikes into our warehouse and we need more volunteers to help us manage during this really busy period. Our warehouse roles include – unloading deliveries, preparing bikes for shipping, loading containers, dismantling damaged bikes for valuable spare parts and sorting/packing parts for shipment.
If you have any spare time available, particularly during April and May and can offer us some help, please do get in touch. All new volunteers will receive a warm welcome from friendly and supportive colleagues. You will make a valuable contribution to our work, enjoy being part of a team and benefit from the satisfaction of being involved with something useful that helps to improve people's life prospects in Africa.
You can find an application form on the “Volunteer” section here. Or you can bring the completed form to our warehouse in Wormingford – Unit 8 The Grove Estate, Colchester Road, Wormingford CO6 3AJ
Alternatively, you can phone us on 01206 617865 for a chat.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Posted: Thu, 10/03/2016 - 17:34
Our first shipment of 2016 has finally landed and offloaded in Zambia. Our partners, Kaloko Trust, reported today that there was a significant turnout of willing helpers to unload the 501 quality second hand bicycles we shipped from our warehouse in January. The majority of these bicycles will go to farmers from the Luanshya district, and the income generated from their sale will go towards funding a number of Kaloko Trust’s projects, including the expansion of a school building built in 2015, and a student sponsorship programme that already assists over 2,200 children.
Posted: Tue, 08/03/2016 - 14:41
“To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To women, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.” ~ Munsey’s Magazine, 1896
Being the most equitable of all forms of transport, it is of little surprise that the bicycle has come to represent ideas of freedom and equality. This wasn’t always the case: up until the 1880’s, the first bicycles were deemed too dangerous to be used by women.
It was only with the introduction of the “safety bicycle” that women were allowed to ride. At first, most female cyclists were from middle-class backgrounds but as prices decreased in the 1890s, bicycles became affordable for working class women.
Safe to say, this caused much controversy. Women’s riding styles, the clothes they wore, and whether they should cycle at all, was highly debated by the press and establishment. Despite the uproar, it did little in the way of discouraging women to take up cycling. The bicycle quickly became a tool of independence that literally freed women and broke down class inequalities:
“By bicycling, women who have for years been restricted to a neighbourhood of a radius from two to three miles can now extend this area to a radius of eight to ten miles, and have an opportunity of seeing the country when living in town. Bicycling has thus placed poor women on an equal footing with rich ones in a most important particular- getting fresh air and exercise and seeing new scenery. Bicycling will add to a new interest to life, and bring God’s lovely earth to the doors of thousands of women in poor circumstances who would otherwise see nothing but streets and squalor each day.” Major-General Harcourt Bengough, C.B
By breaking down gender stereotypes and providing independence of movement and organisation, it is of little surprise that the bicycle played a key role in suffragette movement.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the bike had served its purpose for gender equality. Shockingly, it wasn’t until 1984 that women were allowed to take part in Olympic road races and it was only at the London 2012 Olympics that women and men competed in the same number of events in all cycling disciplines. This only goes to show how the bicycle continues to be a tool for social change.
Fast-forward to the present day and you can see how the humble bicycle continues to empower women across the world. For many of the women who use our bikes, a bicycle facilitates access to social services, income-generating opportunities and community activities that would have never been possible without affordable transport.
At Re~Cycle we recognise that bikes still have an incredibly important role to play. In countries across Africa, some women are still excluded from riding bicycles for cultural reasons. We believe that teaching young girls and women to ride bikes will continue to change these attitudes and can help level the playing field for future generations to come.
Please help us to support more women this International Women's Day: