Most people know Halfords. For many of us, it was where our first bike came from. Where we go when our headlights are out, or to have a look at the latest sat navs. Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist, or camper, Halfords is there for you on all of those journeys.
However, we don’t just sell oil and scratch repair paint! Every year, we hold a national bike trade-in event – a perfect opportunity for you to get rid of those old bikes taking up space in the garage or shed and donate them to a good cause.
The adult bikes we receive are sent to developing villages in Africa through our charity partner Re~cycle, providing an essential means of transport to jobs, farms, and schools. Re~cycle also teaches bike maintenance and repair skills, helping to improve lives in a sustainable way. You can learn more about the scheme over at our Re~Cycle blog post and Re~Cycle’s website.
The kids’ bikes we receive are kept back for use in our schools bike donation scheme. This scheme sees us donating bikes to schools to help encourage more children to cycle. Not all of these kids necessarily have access to bikes, so it’s a great way to get them interested and involved in cycling!
Since many of the bikes we receive are in desperate need of some TLC, we send twenty of them at a time to our Halfords Academy scheme in Onley Prison. Set up by our previous CEO Matt Davies, this rehabilitation programme takes a select few prisoners at a time and trains them up as bike mechanics, with the aim of improving their job prospects upon release. It’s been so successful that we’re opening another Academy in a women’s prison towards the end of the year.
Once the bikes are safe to ride and back to their former gleaming glory, they’re donated alongside twenty helmets to schools in the eight cycling cities: Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich. The scheme’s now in its second year and we’re aiming to donate 500 bikes to schools by the end of 2016.
Last week saw two schools benefit from this programme; Bells Farm Primary School in Birmingham and St Nicholas Catholic Primary School in Leeds. Both schools received twenty bikes and helmets to help their pupils develop their cycling skills. The children were also treated to a bike workshop to help them get to grips with essential bike maintenance, such as how to fix a puncture.
The bikes and workshops were delivered by two of our colleagues, Pinder Singh and Lester Hill from Selly Oak and York Hill stores. They said, “We’re delighted to be able to provide bikes and helmets to local pupils in Leeds and Birmingham and we also want to give them the skills to keep them in tip top condition. The bikes will encourage youngsters at the schools to get out on their bikes, something which will hopefully develop into a life-long interest. Our workshops run through essential safety checks and we teach kids how to make simple repairs such as inflating a tyre.”
As you can see from the photos, the children were absolutely over the moon with both the bikes and the workshop! The schools are free to use the bikes as they see fit, and it’s the schools’ aim that they’ll help the kids with their Bikeability skills as well as encouraging them to be more active.
If you’ve got an old bike gathering dust that you’d like to donate to a good cause, we have over 80 stores accepting donations year-round which you can find here.
The schools donation programme is just one of our many community strategies which you can get involved in! We’re running plenty of kids’ bike workshops over the summer throughout the UK and Ireland; over 5,000 kids have already participated so far this year! Keep an eye on this page to see when the next ones near you are.