HMP Hewell has been chosen as one of two prisons to take part in an innovative programme that encourages inmates to repair and recycle bicycles for use by hospital staff and disadvantaged children.
The aim is for inmates at the prison, near Tardebigge, together with prisoners from HMP Aylesbury, to renovate some 900 bikes, in the process learning new skills to boost their employability as well as making a positive contribution to society.
The scheme is part of an initiative by an organisation called Lifecycle Project which aims to encourage ‘a circular economy’.
Once the inmates have completed their training, it is hoped they can on to achieve their City & Guilds Level 1 and 2 qualifications in bike maintenance.
“Equipping prisoners with the skills to help secure a job upon release is vital to enabling them to turn their lives around, providing them with a purpose and allowing them to give something back to society,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said.
“The Lifecycle project is a terrific scheme, providing skills in demand, and recognising the doctors, nurses and other key workers who have been the heroes of our pandemic response.”
The governor of HMP Hewell, Ralph Lubkowski, added: “This is a great opportunity for all of the prisoners at our repair shop.
“It helps them gain experience and pick up valuable skills which are very well respected on the job market, and will be a very positive addition to our Pathways to Employment strategy here at Hewell.
“We are proud to be working in partnership with the Lifecycle Project to deliver this innovative recycling programme.
The Lifecycle Project team said: “The ambition of the Lifecycle Project is to create a circular economy by upskilling and providing employment opportunities for ex-offenders, while creating sustainable transport in local communities and promoting health and wellbeing to key workers: ‘Donate, Renovate and Relocate’.
The first delivery of donated bikes into prisons is due to made later this month with the first delivery of bikes being made to keyworkers from the end of November.