reCYCLE: a Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 Legacy project
reCYCLE was a Glasgow Commonwealth legacy project, encouraging healthy living through cycling. It also enabled young people to develop new skills in bike maintainance.
Glasgow Caledonian University’s Community and Public Engagement Coordinator, Susan Grant became familiar with the good work going on at SIMY Community Development after meeting representatives of the group through the Townhead and Ladywell Community Council. Neil Pratt, Team Leader & Outdoor Activities Coordinator at SiMY identified that not having access to suitable outdoor clothing, equipment and bikes was a barrier for many of their young people to experience the outdoors and be more independent and be able to travel out with their local area for employment and training.
Through reCYCLE, Glasgow Caledonian University enlisted the in-kind support of departments across the university and local businesses to work together in order to help the young people of SiMY. reCYCLE was awarded the Glasgow City Council’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Logo and was launched with a donation appeal to staff, students and alumni for their unwanted bikes on Commonwealth Day 2014. Subsequent appeals took place in Evans as part of their trade-in scheme and TISO for clothing and kit. Donated bikes were stripped for spare parts or made roadworthy by the young people of SiMY under the training and guidance of Glasgow Bike Station mechanics. Refurbished bikes, donated outdoor equipment and new maintenance kit was then gifted to SiMY for use by their young people in group and individual outdoor activities.
reCYCLE received 16 donated bikes from the university community and 11 customer bikes from Evans store in Glasgow as part of their trade-in scheme. Of the 27 bikes received, 15 young people with the help of mechanics from The Bike Station made 18 of them roadworthy.
reCYCLE exceeded our expectations due to the momentum that was been built and carried on by SiMY leaders and the opportunities which have continued for the young people in terms of outdoor skills training, equipment donations, bike workshops and sports activities made possible by reCYCLE partners. The wider SiMY group of about 70 members have benefited from having more shared bikes, maintenance kits, tools and outdoor equipment and the project gave the group leaders a new target to work towards. The reCYCLE project pathed the way for The Glasgow Bike Station setting up a Community Bike Hub in the summer of 2015. The Hub includes The Bike Academy where young people receive bike maintenance training and experience and work towards a City and Guild qualification as Bike Mechanics.
reCYCLE is linked to our institutional aims of a cycle-friendly campus. GCU has The Bike Station in regularly with Dr Bike workshops, has installed public repair stands and additional bike racks and is offering discounts for staff and students on the city-wide public rental scheme, nextbike.
The aims of the reCYCLE project were to:
- run a donation appeal for unwanted bikes
- set young people on a path to a healthier lifestyle by providing them with at least 15 donated bikes
- promote cycling as an affordable and sustainable mode of transport
- give 15 young people the opportunity to learn new skills to help them maintain their bikes and experience the outdoors
- allow more GCU staff and students the opportunity to get involved in community engagement activities