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Young Offenders Institutions

His Majesty’s Young Offender Institutions (HMYOI) are prisons for 15-21 year olds. They form one part of the three forms of youth custody in the United Kingdom and account for seventy-three percent of young people in custody. Compared to the other parts of the system, they have a lower staff-to-offender ratio, reflecting the focus on incarceration as opposed to rehabilitation and care. 

The Upcycle workshops provide the trainees with qualifications, skills and experience, without which they are forty-one percent more likely to re-offend.

HMYOI Peterborough

Funding secured by UpCycle was used to convert space in the prison to a bike workshop. We have been working in HMYOI Peterborough since the end of 2022.

HMYOI Peterborough is the only purpose-built prison in the country to accommodate both male and female prisoners, who are kept separate at all times. The bike workshop is currently operating on the male side of the prison. 

The workshop has been so well received that it has already more than doubled the capacity of the original five workstations available. The workshop can now hold thirty-six trainees at a time. The instructors at these workshops are both Velotech accredited and can award qualifications up to Velotech Gold.

HMYOI Peterborough comprises a local category B prison, a closed women’s prison and a category C extension operated by Sodexo Justice. For more information, visit this website.

HMYOI Wetherby

The bike workshop at HMYOI Wetherby is a partnership between Upcyle, HMYOI Wetherby and the education provider Novus

Trainer Andy, completed the Velotech qualification in March 2023, so will be able to award qualifications up to Velotech Gold. The workshop can accommodate up to 6 learners at a time. 

The first learners started in late spring/early summer 2023. 

Further information about HMYOI Wetherby can be found here.

HMYOI Deerbolt

Instructional officer Graeme joined the prison service in 1992 and came to run the bike workshop when it was first launched at Deerbolt. Since opening, Graeme has completed the Velotech Platinum qualification and is able to award up to Velotech gold. The workshop is also part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at Deerbolt.  

The workshop at Deerbolt has been fully up and running since the start of 2019. The workshop now accommodates up to sixteen trainees over eight workstations. When the trainees reach a certain level in their training they are eligible to be a mentor to their peers, they can help with training and knowledge of bike mechanics. 

Graeme told us that the trainees are helped by “knowing that the bikes will go to help someone in need” and by “being part of a team in the workshop, gaining useful skills that will help them on release and being able to see the finished product”. A recent experience stood out to him when a recently graduated trainee started “jumping for joy and running round the workshop” when he was presented with his certificate. “He explained he had never achieved anything to warrant a certificate and he would be on the phone to his mum to tell her tonight”.

The workshop is partnered with Recyke Y’Bike, a bike recycling charity based in the North East, and receives excess bikes when they have them available. 

In 2019, Graeme was acknowledged for his work in the bike workshop, receiving the NEPACS Ruth Cranfield Award. 

Further information about HMYOI Deerbolt.

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