The Colchester-based charity Re-Cycle is running collections at the retailer’s branches across the UK from now until Monday (24 March).

All bikes that are in a decent condition will be accepted. They will be repaired and overhauled before being shipped to Africa. People who donate their bikes will also get a 10% discount off a new one.

A majority of bikes will go to people living in rural areas in Gambia, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Madagascar.

Re-Cycle said that the bicycles will offer people a route out of poverty, giving them opportunities to travel to work, healthcare locations and school.

Speaking to about how the background of the initiative, Halfords corporate social responsibility manager Emma Thomas said the retailer wanted to link up with a charity that had links to the UK and Ireland and one that dealt with bicycles – its core business.

Thomas explained that Re-Cycle offers its partners a “sustainable solution” and helps to train mechanics in Africa to improve their bike maintenance skills.

She also said that Halfords and Re-Cycle launched a similar trading event last summer. It donated 4,800 bikes to Africa, which helped to divert around 78 tonnes away from landfill. It hopes to collect a similar amount this year.

Since 1997, Re-Cycle has sent more than 53,000 bikes to Africa, plus parts and tools.

Speaking to, Re-Cycle operations manager Derek Balcombe said: “It’s a perfect example of a win-win situation. The general public get a great feeling and donate something that they are not using. People are often reluctant to throw away a bike because they know it will be worth something. This initiative gives donors an opportunity to support our work. Re-Cycle can increase the number of bikes we get and increase the impact we have in Africa.

“Halfords also get to support a worthwhile charity and everyone wins.”

Liz Gyekye

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