Haywards Heath mayor supports bike scheme for children

The mayor of Haywards Heath presented 18 reconditioned bikes to children at Warden Park Primary Academy in December, as part of their Bikes for Primary Children scheme.

Wednesday, 3rd January 2018, 10:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd January 2018, 10:36 am
Mayor councillor James Knight with Warden Park Primary Academy pupils and their bikes. Picture: Haywards Heath Town Council

The event was part of Halfords Bike Donation Scheme which is broadly targeted at primary schools and in order to qualify, 20 to 25 per cent of pupils at the school must be eligible for free school meals.

Halfords sources the bikes from regular trade-in events it organises and these are then reconditioned and fully restored by prisoners at Halford’s Academy which is Halfords’ cycle mechanic training facility inside HM Onley Prison in Rugby.

The academy has been training prisoners to become professional cycle mechanics, with Halfords’ own trainers going in to teach and support prisoners.

Once reconditioned, the bikes are donated to primary schools where needed, and schools are invited to apply.

To date, Halfords has donated more than 400 bikes to primary aged school children across the UK, said a spokesman.

Town mayor councillor James Knight said: “It was an honour to be part of this fantastic community initiative from Halfords.

“Not only does it encourage people to donate their old bikes to the scheme and train prisoners to become bike mechanics, giving them future employment opportunities, but it provides bikes, helmets and training to primary school children who may not necessarily have access to bikes.

“It was wonderful to watch the joy on the children’s faces as they received their bikes and learned how to look after them, themselves.

“With all the cycling routes across the beautiful Sussex countryside, it is fantastic to encourage children to get on their bikes and get fit and healthy too.”

The mayor was joined by councillor Jonathan Ash Edwards on the day, together with representatives of Halfords and Eileen Walling, deputy head teacher of Ward Park Primary Academy, to help present the bikes to the children.

They presented 18 reconditioned bikes in total to the children at the school and Halfords also donated helmets and repair kits.

“A huge thanks to Halfords who also kindly donated helmets and repair kits to the children and time training them,” added the mayor.