Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl is backing an appeal to mobilise more of the county’s key workers.

The Gloucestershire Bike Project’s offer to ‘Gift a bike’ to NHS and other essential staff who are tackling Coronavirus was snapped-up so quickly, the organisation is now in a desperate race to get more.

It has launched a crowd funding appeal to raise £50,000 with the aim of replenishing its stock and supplying up to 250 bicycles free of charge.

“We need more bikes”

Project co-ordinator Maureen Parker said, “We are just trying to show our support and appreciation in a practical way for all these amazing people that are keeping us all going right now. Some of the requests we have received are so moving.

“We don’t have enough bikes, far from it to be honest. The 40 we had have all gone and we have up to 80 allocated.

“I’m starting a fundraising and crowd funding campaign to buy new bikes from our suppliers, so we can get as many built and out to people as quickly as possible. A new bike takes one hour to build, where a refurbished bike takes a day.

“If we can reach our target of £50,000 we should be able to supply up to 250 bikes.  As soon as the money comes in we’re ordering more. We’re not waiting”.

“A great example of communities working together to beat Coronavirus”

Gloucestershire Bike Project is a not-for-profit social enterprise offering opportunities to ex-offenders and other vulnerable people through training, volunteering, work experience and personal development. It also has a long association with the Commissioner’s Fund, which has donated £5,000 towards the appeal.

PCC Martin Surl said, “This is another great example of how communities are coming together and doing what they can to tackle the pandemic.

“The Gloucestershire Bike Project is a currently funded organisation which approached us with a great idea that was Covid-related to help key workers get to work. I was happy to be able to approve a one off grant of £5,000 to help with it.

“I know how tight money is in these uncertain times but I hope it will encourage others who are able to get behind this scheme”.