Life Cycle UK: The Bike Shop Behind Bars

by Life Cycle UK in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 16th December 2019 we successfully raised £6,543 with 120 supporters in 28 days

Help us train more prisoners as Bike Mechanics - to build a brighter future after release. #BikesBehindBars

by Life Cycle UK in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Wow, we are so grateful to everyone who helped us meet our target!

We're now asking you to dig a little deeper... And we've launched an ambitious stretch target of £8,000.

With the extra funds, we can make the best possible learning environment for the men we work with. That means:

1) Creating a space that looks as close to a professional bike workshop as possible.

2) Painting and decorating to create a smart, light, ordered atmosphere.

3) Installing display boards, technical images and infographics to inspire and energise learning.

With your help we can transform the face of the new space – giving the men we work with the best possible working environment to focus, collaborate and learn.

Thank you!


We're Crowdfunding to scale-up our "Bikes Behind Bars" project - so we can train more prisoners as Bike Mechanics.

We’re moving to a bigger workshop inside Bristol Prison and need to buy more tools, equipment and bike parts – to help more prisoners gain a qualification.

You can help these men turn their lives around by making a donation today!

Why is it important to train prisoners?


97% of prisoners say they want to stop offending* but the situation in most prisons sets them up to fail:

Levels of “purposeful activity” are at an all-time low. Sometimes prisoners will be locked up for 23 hours a day. Self-harm and suicides continue to rise.

Prisoners who get a job on release are much more likely to turn their lives around - but fully 63% re-offend within 12-months of release - often due to a lack of employable skills.

Inmates must work as part of the prison day – but tasks are often boring, repetitive and don’t require any skill. 

Our workshop is different. We give prisoners the skills and self-belief to turn their lives around…



How "Bikes Behind Bars" works


We take donations of broken and unwanted bikes to a secure workshop inside Bristol Prison, where we teach prisoners the skills to completely refurbish them.

The men earn a City & Guilds qualification in cycle mechanics. For many, this will be their first qualification. With our support, the men gain employable skills, self-belief and a sense of hope – the keys to a crime-free future.


Learning Skills for Life


Our tuition is first-class: Our experienced tutors teach textbook techniques in a practical way, to accommodate different learning styles.

Many of the men have complex needs: Our tutors and volunteers create a safe, supportive environment where mutual respect and inquisitiveness can flourish.

With us, men can realise their full potential.

"John's a great teacher and has really helped with my understanding and self-belief. I can and will complete any task I put my mind on! When I get out I want to continue with vocational training” – Nathaniel


Giving Back to the Community


Our workshop produces high quality refurbished bikes that prisoners take pride in: They can really give something back to the community, knowing that whoever rides their bikes away will have the best cycling experience.

"I feel like I’m doing something positive for people out there. Two nice bikes have come in that I've stripped and put back together. I like to think that someone might get them for Christmas, it makes me smile" - Raz

Help us take the next step!


We're about to move into Bristol Prison’s shiny new Education Block.

Having a bigger, lighter, more modern space means we can teach more men. That means more prisoners will learn valuable skills and more bikes will be returned to the community.

We need your help to buy more mechanics tools, more equipment and more bike parts – so we can scale-up our operation and help even more men to make a new start.



How you can help


Help us transform lives by:

1.    Making a donation

2.    Purchasing a reward

3.    Getting your workplace involved by becoming a Corporate Donor

… Or all of the above!

Only with your support can prisoners at HMP Bristol make a new start in life.

How will the money be spent?

Our rewards


If you’d like to pledge without claiming a reward, click the blue 'pledge' button at the top of the column on the right.

After making your pledge, please spread the word! Thank you.

About Life Cycle UK


We're an innovative, Bristol-based charity that transforms lives through cycling.

Our ‘Inclusive Cycling’ projects help people with disabilities, mental illness, offenders, disadvantaged children and isolated older people to feel happier, healthier, and more connected to their local community.

We're proud to have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and the Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Reintegration.

Last year, we helped 6,748 people to unlock the benefits of cycling.

This year we need your help to reach even more people – through our work with prisoners at HMP Bristol…

Our achievements


Since we started the project in 2010 we've helped more prisoners every year: Last year a record 78 prisoners refurbished 492 bikes for the local community.

  • We were shortlisted for the National Lottery Awards
  • We bagged the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
  • We won the Prison Reform Trust’s Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Reintegration.

Media – links to press/videos about our project


Video: Bike Back on BBC Points West

Article: Prison Reform Trust

*All statistics are taken from research by the Prison Reform Trust.


Please donate to our campaign today. Thank you so much!


The "Bikes Behind Bars" team.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£50 or more

2 of 12 claimed

Beginners' Bike Maintenance Course

You'll receive a voucher to be redeemed against one of our Beginners Bike Maintenance Courses. For full course details go to: https://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/bike-maintenance-beginners Terms & Conditions All courses take place in Bristol. The voucher must be redeemed within 1 year. By purchasing this reward you are agreeing to our full terms & conditions - found here: https://bit.ly/324l9wU

£5 or more

5 of 50 claimed

Thanks for Sticking By Us

Your name will appear on our digital "Heroes" Wall - and you'll also receive your very own Life Cycle sticker.

£20 or more

13 of 30 claimed

Little Goodies Pack

We'll treat you to a Bike Chain Drinks Coaster, Life Cycle sticker and your name on our digital "Heroes" Wall.

£30 or more

4 of 10 claimed

Bikes Behind Bars Artwork

Bag yourself a gorgeous A5 mounted photo print - taken and selected for you by John from the "Bikes Behind Bars" team.

£40 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Bikes Behind Bars Artwork Package

The perfect home or office package: An artsy A5 mounted photo print chosen the "Bikes Behind Bars" team + a bikey drinks coaster.

£50 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Buy a Bike Voucher

You'll get a voucher for £50 off any bike you buy from us. Ride home with your very own quality, refurbished bike - courtesy of the men at Bristol Prison and Life Cycle UK! Bikes start at around £80 and go up to approx. £350. All bikes sold from our Bristol workshop. Sorry, but we don't deliver. We recommend calling the workshop before coming down - if you are looking for a specific type of bike: 0117 924 5487

£75 or more

2 of 4 claimed

1 hour Bike Maintenance Demo

6 lucky people at your workplace (or social club) will be taught by a qualified mechanic. Pick from one of the following modules: Session 1: M-check and comfort adjustments Session 2: Punctures Session 3: Brakes Session 4: Gears OFFER FOR BRISTOL ONLY. Please read our full terms and conditions: https://bit.ly/324l9wU Any queries, call: 0117 353 4580.

£125 or more

1 of 4 claimed

2 hour Bike Maintenance Demo

6 lucky people at your workplace (or social club) will be taught by a qualified mechanic. Pick from TWO of the following modules: Session 1: M-check and comfort adjustments; Session 2: Punctures; Session 3: Brakes; Session 4: Gears. OFFER FOR BRISTOL ONLY. Please read our full terms and conditions: https://bit.ly/324l9wU Any queries, call: 0117 353 4580

£175 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Half-day Dr Bike Surgery

We bring the bike workshop to your workplace! Our qualified mechanics will carry out bicycle safety-checks and service key components, for up to 12 lucky people - including: Adjusting or replacing brake blocks; Tuning gears; Fixing punctures; OFFER FOR BRISTOL ONLY. For a full breakdown of what is covered in our Dr Bike service, go to: https://bit.ly/2NvN2Zt. Please read our full terms and conditions: https://bit.ly/324l9wU

£350 or more

0 of 4 claimed

2 x Half-Day Dr Bike Surgeries

We'll give you 2 x half-day Dr Bike sessions (max 12 bikes per session). Our qualified mechanics will carry out bicycle safety-checks and service key components, including: Adjusting or replacing brake blocks; Tuning gears; Fixing punctures. OFFER FOR BRISTOL ONLY. For a full breakdown of what is covered in our Dr Bike service: https://bit.ly/2NvN2Zt. Please read our full terms and conditions: https://bit.ly/2NvN2Zt

£500 or more

0 of 2 claimed

3 x Half-Day Dr Bike Surgeries

We'll give you 3 x 4-hour Dr Bike sessions (max 12 bikes per session). Our qualified mechanics will carry out bicycle safety-checks and service key components, including: Adjusting or replacing brake blocks; Tuning gears; Fixing punctures. OFFER FOR BRISTOL ONLY. For a full breakdown of what is covered in our Dr Bike service, go to: https://bit.ly/2NvN2Zt. Please read our full terms and conditions: https://bit.ly/2NvN2Zt

£1,000 or more

Wow, We Don't Know What to Say!

Words (and gifts) can't express how much a donation of this size would mean! As a small token of our HUGE gratitude we'll print your name (and logo, if you're a company) on our 2019-20 Impact Report... Plus we'll give you a framed print, created by the "Bikes Behind Bars" team. Thank you so much!

£3,000 or more

The Bikes Behind Bars Experience

Enjoy a bespoke day at Life Cycle (Bristol) with 5 members of your work team - or friends and family aged over 18. Come see our workshop in action, work on some bikes, head out on a ride... The possibilities are endless and tailored to your group. Please contact us for more details.

£10 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Zen and the art of washing-up!

This limited edition 'Bike Minded' tea towel will make drying up a zen experience. Plus your name will appear on our digital "Heroes" wall!

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