Salvation Army teams up with Bulky Bob's to get new home and brighter future for Recycles Merseyside

published on 26 Feb 2019

Recycles Merseyside

A Salvation Army bike repair and skills training scheme for young people with learning disabilities, called Recycles Merseyside is so popular it’s moving from its home at the Liverpool Stoneycroft church to larger, rent-free premises within the furniture reuse social enterprise and charity, Bulky Bob’s.

Recycles Merseyside has been providing cycle maintenance and volunteering opportunities to young people with learning disabilities since May 2016.  Based in the Old Swan area, the scheme gives its young participants on-the-job training by refurbishing the old bicycles which are donated by the public.  

The rebuilt bikes are then sold back to the community, good as new, for a fraction of the normal price of a quality, re-conditioned bike; allowing the trainee bike builders to learn vital customer service and retail skills too.

Recycles officially takes up residence in the spacious surroundings of Bulky Bob’s social enterprise and charity at 129 –139 London Road, Liverpool L3 8JA on 22 March, in a unique partnership that should enable both organisations to expand the opportunities they provide to the most vulnerable people living in the area.  

Bulky Bob’s; which collects large household items on behalf of Liverpool Council, is allowing Recycles to move in, rent-free.  Unwanted bicycles account for a lot of the items that Bulky Bob’s collects from homes and businesses around Liverpool, so Recycles’ trainees will have a steady stream of bikes to work on after the move. 

Phil Doragh, Project Co-ordinator for Recycles Merseyside said:

“It’s been an amazing journey for Recycles. I’m so grateful to Sam Tomlin, the Commanding Officer of Liverpool Stoneycroft Salvation Army church for supporting us these past three years.  

“Being based at the church really helped to establish Recycles as an important service at the heart of the community.  It allowed us to help so many young and vulnerable people gain confidence and skills and made it possible for countless other people to buy really good quality second hand bikes at an affordable price.

“Now we’ve moved in with Bulky Bob’s, the future’s looking even brighter for us and we’re all looking forward to welcoming even more young people with learning disabilities to train and volunteer with us and be part of the Recycles journey.”

Shaun Doran, Chief Executive Officer of Bulky Bob’s said:

“This is a great partnership whereby we use people’s unwanted items to provide training and work experience for people, save valuable resources from landfill and get great quality bikes to people at low cost or free of charge.”

Recycles Merseyside is affiliated to The Salvation Army’s wider Steps to Work scheme which empowers young people with learning disabilities by giving them access to training and volunteering opportunities.  

Launched in October 2018 — in partnership with The City of Liverpool College — Steps to Work will be based at The Salvation Army’s brand new Strawberry Field training hub and visitor centre which opens this summer on the site of the original Strawberry Field Salvation Army children’s home.

Strawberry Field was famously John Lennon’s favourite place to escape to when he was growing up in his Aunt Mimi’s house nearby.  The site was then immortalised in the Beatles’ huge hit single, Strawberry Fields Forever. Visit the Strawberry Field website to get updates on the project or to buy exclusive Forever Strawberry Field merchandise.

Recycles Merseyside opens for business at Bulky Bob’s on 22 February.  For more information visit the Recycles Merseyside Facebook page.