Plans made at the start of this year had to be modified and adapted to react to the changing world we are currently living in due to the pandemic. Our original shipping plan for 2021 was to send 14 containers of second-hand bicycles and spare parts. This schedule was scaled back slightly, and we are currently on track to send our 9th container. The reason for this scaling back is due to a lack of bicycle donations into our warehouse, either directly or through our corporate partner Halfords.
The number of bicycles that we have sent to our partners in 2021 as follows:
Village Bicycle Project, Ghana – 1,013
Bicycle Empowerment Network, South Africa – 1540
WYCE, The Gambia – 1524
Kaloko Trust, Zambia – 495
Total amount of bikes sent 4572
Every bike that we have sent to our partners has benefited someone’s life. There are many reasons why people purchase our bikes from our partners. Farmers travelling to the field to collect their produce and then take it to market to sell to make an income to school children reducing the amount of time it takes to get to school every day, enabling them not to have to travel to and from school in the dark and getting to school on time.
Last year we introduced a new monitoring and evaluation framework for our partners to use and this year we have started to obtain some valuable data about the bikes that we send to our partners. 60% of the bikes sold are to men, 25% to women and 15% to children and the main occupations of people purchasing bikes were in agriculture, health work and education.
Bike numbers did increase during the second half of the year with a total of 6,063 bikes donated by the end of October. Of these, just over half (3,152) were donated through Halfords, via their drop off points across the UK. A further 1,085 bikes were donated to Re-Cycle directly from the public.
In May, Re-Cycle launched a new corporate partnership with Gladwells Pet and Country stores. Six of their stores across the south and east region are bike drop off donation points for Re-Cycle and so far, this year, we have received around 300 bikes through this partnership.
We have further developed our connection with Greater Anglia and this year have received around 300 bikes (292) from the Greater Anglia rail network.
Re-Cycle continues to build fantastic community links with Rotary clubs in Southeast England and this relationship has procured over 550 donated bicycles from their pop you bicycle collections.
We are extremely grateful to all supporters for their help to keep Re-Cycle operating during this challenging and unpredictable period.
As well sending bikes to Africa to benefit people who need alternative transport options, Re-Cycle also supports our local community here in the UK with bicycles. This year we have provided bicycles to a local homeless charity and donated some to Refugee Action Colchester, another local charity that supports refugees.
In addition, we offer affordable refurbished bikes for sale to the community here in the UK and so far, this year, have sold over 320 bikes to our local community including students from the University of Essex.
Re-Cycle offers a regular Dr Bike repair service at the University of Essex and although this service had to temporarily stop during the first part of the year, it was able to resume in the late Spring. This service is very popular and well used by students and staff who live, work and/or study at the university.
In the summer, we were fortunate to receive some funding which enabled Re-Cycle to deliver 8 additional Dr. Bike sessions in the local community. This service provided the public with access to free bike repairs.
We are always extremely grateful for the wonderful support we continue to receive from our volunteers who religiously come in to help with bike preparations, loading and unloading of bikes, collecting bikes, and helping with refurbishment. Without their support the charity would not be able to provide the level of service that it does.