Burnley charity urges people to 're-cycle'

11:00am Monday 31st December 2012

A BURNLEY charity is calling for the ultimate re-cycle by asking people to donate their unwanted bikes.

Freshfields Enterprises, based in Cemetary Lane, is appealing for people who may have got a new bike for Christmas to bring in their old ones for its clients to repair.

The group works with adults with learning disabilities who restore the bikes to their original glory under supervision and then sell them on to raise money for the charity.

Similarly, any parts that are beyond repair are sold on and the money is re-invested in the charity’s projects.

In 2012 at least 15 bikes were fixed and sold by the organisation and centre manager Gail Harvey-Clapham said interest in the weekly sessions was so high that numbers were outgrowing the charity’s current workshop.

She said: “The students love it and as well as learning technical maintenance skills, they learn about teamwork qualities safety.

“The group meets every Friday all year round but Christmas is a time of year when obviously people get a lot of new things and I would plead with them to think before they throw away any old bikes. We can put them to great use.

“We are making a vast difference to people’s lives and teaching them great skills.

“To do 15 bikes this year is a fantastic achievement but we always want more. All the proceeds are pumped back in to Freshfields.”

The scheme is the brainchild of support worker Ian Kirkbride, who is also now qualified to teach the service users how to ride the bikes.

He said: “It’s really gone from strength to strength. The mix of exercise, pleasure at creating something and the responsibility of being in control benefits everyone involved.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far, we really rely on people’s kindness.”

Freshfields will re-open after a Christmas break on January 7. Anyone wishing to donate before then can contact Gail on 07867572512.

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