Kitted out to help homeless

This Is Wiltshire: From back left to right, Simon Styles, Shaun Bartlett and Alan Barrett. From front left to right, Ricky Bartlett, Stan Simpson, Richard Woolard and Ian Styles From back left to right, Simon Styles, Shaun Bartlett and Alan Barrett. From front left to right, Ricky Bartlett, Stan Simpson, Richard Woolard and Ian Styles

SALVATION Army project Recycles is hitting the road thanks to North Wiltshire Cycling Club adopting its logo as part of its redesigned kit.

The tie-up follows a series of milestones for the shop, which opened on Princes Way last September and operates out of Booth House resettlement centre.

Residents refurbish donated bikes to be resold, repair cycles and sell accessories.

So far, 350 bikes have been sold and the shop has won a contract from Swindon Council to deliver a cycle loan scheme for town centre workers.

Cycle mechanic Rick Bartlett, who helped restart the club, said: “We would like to raise awareness of the project and change people’s perceptions of what homelessness is.

“When customers see homeless people rebuilding bikes they are not stereotypical drunks in the alleyway.

“They are normal people with skills and what we are trying to do is to utilise those skills and give them self-belief.

“They also have the chance to gain NVQ training in cytech and customer service.

“There is also a sandwich delivery service at Booth House serving offices around Swindon. It all helps to get their faces known to potential employers.”

Mr Bartlett added the success of Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France had also helped.

“I think we’re in the right place at the right time,” he said.

The club has about 30 members whose redesigned kit will feature their logo – a bike fork skewering a heart and lungs – alongside the Recycles emblem.

One joint project is a cycle from London to Brighton with two residents of Booth House.

Recycles is appealing for donations of old bikes. Visit www.recycles-swindon.co.uk or call 01793 401834.

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