By Bethan Davies, Fundraiser, Ruskin Mill Trust
It was an exciting morning for myself, Brantwood Class Tutor Sam, and a young Brantwood student, as the security gates of the Ecclesfield South Yorkshire Police opened, and we were welcomed to look around their bike property store and take whatever was suitable for use at the School.
This was a generous opportunity, and the collaboration between our charity, Brantwood staff and multiple people across different departments in the South Yorkshire Police. We were pleased to find that many of the bikes were salvageable, and in fact some were still in really good condition, with a mix of sizes and some road bikes and some mountain bikes. The only question was; how many bikes could we squeeze into our two cars and a bike rack? The answer, with Sam’s clever stacking – eleven!
All of the bikes had either been found or recovered by officers, and will be used at the Brantwood site as well as at Eyam Outdoor Learning Centre. Police Constable Simon Fysh said: “These bikes have come from a variety of sources, some have been abandoned by offenders as they try to evade officers, others have been recovered during searches.
“Whilst we will always try and reunite property with any rightful owner, there are inevitably quite a few which get left behind in our stores.
“We were really pleased when the Ruskin Mill Trust said they would take them off our hands for their work with children and young people, it’s brilliant that they will get a new lease of life.”
Therefore, these bikes will enable our students to learn valuable bike maintenance skills, as well as building confidence while riding them. Making it an educational and enjoyable project, especially as the weather warms up.
A huge thank you to the South Yorkshire Police for their help and cooperation. We hope it is the start of a positive relationship, where perhaps we can make use of more bikes in the future.
We would also like to thank the Spirit of Sheffield Children’s Trust, whose grant towards purchasing a bike shelter at Brantwood helped kickstart the bike initiative at the school.