Kids gearing up for re-Cycling scheme

Children in north Oxfordshire who don’t currently have a bike may soon be able ride off in style thanks to an innovative second-hand bicycle scheme.

Published: Tuesday, 1st June 2021

Run by Cherwell District Council in partnership with Community Action Group, Bicester Green, the programme will allow local schools to nominate pupils most in need to receive a free serviced bicycle.

Councillor Phil Chapman, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Leisure and Sport, said: “We know cycling is excellent for both physical and mental wellbeing, but it’s also great fun. Children can grow out of their bicycles very quickly and they’ve often still got a lot of life left in them. Being able to save these bikes from landfill by giving them to another youngster is great for the environment and even better news for the new owner!”

The FAST bike scheme is being run by the same team who created the Bikes for Key Workers project, offering free bicycles to NHS staff in Cherwell. It will operate under a similar system, by collecting used bikes from the public, refurbishing them by a professional mechanic, then handing them on to a child in need.

Community Action Group, Bicester Green, will be responsible for servicing the bicycles once they’ve been offered to the programme. Celia Cornforth, centre manager at Bicester Green, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in families wanting to cycle more. Through our Dr Bike scheme, supported by Cherwell District Council and Cycling UK, we already help people to get back on their bikes by offering a free maintenance service. But some families just can’t afford the initial cost and this programme will help them experience the joy of cycling.”

The FAST bike programme will launch after half term, with bicycles beginning to be collected from Monday 7 June. If you would like to donate a child’s bike or if you are a school who would like to nominate a youngster, please email FASTbikes@cherwell-dc.gov.uk