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Bike Swap raises £1015 for local charity

During the Bike Swap initiative we have raised a whooping £1015 which was donated to the Coventry Food Bank on 21st May 2024.

For the past couple years, the University has been working with Recycle Your Cycle, to refurbish abandoned bikes, and offer refurbished bikes at sales. Just this year we have donated 114 bikes to Recycle your Cycle, and these bikes have been used in youth rehabilitation projects across the UK. However, with the growing number of bikes being abandoned on campus the Estates department were left with more bikes than Recycle your Cycle could take and refurbish.

This spawned the idea of a Bike Swap, a secondary project that could add value to bikes that were just sat in storage. The approach was two pronged –find a solution to the bike store and increased awareness of the issue.

Firstly, to deal with the excess, we worked with the Finance team to figure out a way that these bikes could add value to their local community. In the initial trial we swapped bikes for family boxes through the Coventry Trussell Trust food bank. The trial funded over 40 family food boxes, and the support was overwhelmingly appreciated by the food bank.

Secondly, to increase awareness, we are running a Donation Drive, offering students the option to donate their bikes proactively through the Parcel Collection Points at the end of the year. The hope is that this will start the conversation and conscious thought about how belongings are handled at the end of the year.

The Donation Drive is bigger than bikes, offering the students who live on campus a route to donate food, books, kitchenware, bedding, electricals and clothes. We are working with the Coventry Foodbank, directly donating food, the Carriers of Hope, to make houses homes for refugees, and the British Heart Foundation, where the year-round donation bins across campus help fund research.

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