Channings Wood prison bike scheme wins recycling award

Channings Wood prison
Image caption Channings Wood is a category C prison at Newton Abbot, housing about 700 inmates

Inmates at Channings Wood jail who have been refurbishing old bikes have helped the local authority win a national recycling award.

TOR2 - Torbay Council and May Gurney - won the "best partnership project for recycling" category, working with HMP Channings Wood at Newton Abbot.

The bike re-use scheme is designed to help prisoners near their release date.

Bicycles brought to the Bay's household waste recycling centre are sent to the jail where inmates refurbish them.

Andy Chattaway, deputy governor at Channings Wood, said the prison was pleased to be part of such a successful and worthwhile project.

"Not only does this give prisoners a chance to give something back to the community, but it allows them to work towards a qualification in bike maintenance and repair," he said.

"Picking up skills and qualifications, such as these, can really make the difference to prisoners finding work on release."

Image caption TOR2 said it hoped to expand the scheme to restore other items

Peter Woodhead, general manager of TOR2, said: "This is a fantastic project. Working with our partners Torbay Council and HMP Channings Wood we have not only developed a recycling solution but also contributed to the local community - and helped develop future employment skills for the prisoners."

About 50 bikes are currently recycled through the recycling centre in Paignton each month, but it is hoped the scheme could be expanded in the future to restore other items to "as new condition" which can then be re-used within the community.

Channings Wood is a category C prison with about 700 inmates.

The winners of the National Recycling Awards were announced in London on Thursday.

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