This article was published in 2016, in Newsletter 124.
OWL Bikes in Sawston, just south of Cambridge, is part of the leading disability charity Papworth Trust. It is a social enterprise working with disadvantaged and learning-disabled adults to provide work experience, skill development and leisure opportunities.
OWL takes donations of unwanted or abandoned bikes which are then repaired and sold to help fund the project. If a bike is not suitable for refurbishing at OWL it is donated to Africa by Re-Cycle. Bike parts that are not useable are recycled for their materials.
OWL bikes are sold from their large warehouse in Sawston. Every bike is fully serviced, fitted with new or recycled parts and sold with a 30-day warranty. There is a shop selling bike accessories and customers can also bring their bikes in for servicing or general repairs such as gear and brake adjustment, puncture repairs and tyre fitting.
OWL Bikes’ partnership with Cambridge and Huntingdonshire Regional Colleges means that for some of these activities participants can take an accredited course and gain a qualification.