SOUTHAMPTON residents have come together to donate their unwanted bicycles to keep key workers on the move.

Homelessness charity Society of St James (SSJ) received several bikes from people living in St Denys and Highfield, as part of a Big Bike Revival for Key Workers scheme.

While the project is funded by Cycling UK and Southampton City Council, Society of St James’s ReCycle and Saints4Sport projects have refurbished bicycles to give to its own and partner agency key workers.

This comes while other bike shops in the city have been providing free essential services and repairs for key workers during the coronavirus crisis, enabling them to cycle to work and for exercise.

Volunteer driver for SSJ, Katherine Barbour, appealed for bikes from neighbours and has since donated seven of them to the charity.

She said: “As a keen green campaigner, when I heard that the Society of St James was looking for bicycles, I contacted my networks in Portswood, Highfield and St Denys and bikes started to arrive.”

Nadine Johnson, from Highfield, said: “I'm really pleased to be associated with an amazing scheme and hope my racing bike can be reinvigorated and go to a good home.”

Daily Echo:

Society of St James is among more than 120 projects to successfully apply for grants to give essential practical support to enable those working in key sectors to use a bicycle to travel to work or for exercise.

In Southampton, Cycling UK has partnered with Southampton City Council, which provided additional funding to help bike shops and repair centres deliver free repairs and discounted services to key workers.

Cycling UK has also launched a free three-month membership offer for NHS staff, with a total of 2,000 people having signed up for so far.

Daily Echo:

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Place at Southampton City Council, said: “It’s vital that people in key roles can travel to and from work as easily as possible during this challenging period.

“Travelling safely is essential to these journeys."