A charity which supports the families of police officers who have died on duty has received a donation from a HMP Risley project which restores old bicycles for the community.
The Change Help Advance in New Skills (CHAINS) project sees prisoners refurbish and restore old bikes which are in a state disrepair that have been donated by local charities and Cheshire Police.
HMP Risley has a workshop within the prison grounds providing space for serving offenders to work together to bring the bikes up to a ‘like new’ condition. Once the bikes are refurbished, the prison then donates the refurbished bicycles to local charities or sells them to raise money for charity.
During a recent visit to the workshop, Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner was asked by CHAINS to nominate a charity to receive a £600 donation from the proceeds of the sale of the bikes. David Keane identified Care of Police Survivors (COPS) as the recipient of the donation.
David said: “COPS do a tremendous amount of work to help rebuild the lives of families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty. It’s very rare for an officer to lose their life on duty but when this tragedy does occur, the family of the officer needs a great deal of support to cope with their bereavement. I’m pleased to support the work of COPS in Cheshire and believe that this kind donation from CHAINS will support even more families through a difficult time.
“The work being carried out by HMP Risley through the bike workshop is supporting the local community whilst rehabilitating prisoners and giving them new skills. It’s fantastic to see offenders who have been through the criminal justice system giving something back to a police charity.”
Nicki Smith, governor at HMP Risley said: “I am delighted that the CHAINS project at HMP Risley has been able to support such a worthy charity as the Care of Police Survivors. We rely heavily on donations of old bikes from a wide range of people and are supported in our endeavour by our police colleagues.
“Andy who runs the CHAINS workshop, is absolutely committed to his role and has raised the self-esteem of so many prisoners, many of whom want to give something back to those in our local communities.”
Andy Tawn, instructional officer of CHAINS bike shop at HMP Risley, added: “We have refurbished more than 200 bikes since the workshop was established in July 2017. This has given prisoners a purposeful activity that will encourage and promote jobs prospects upon their release.
“We are very grateful to Cheshire Police who have donated bicycles that would normally be sent to landfill at a cost to the police to our workshop and we’re very pleased to be able to give something back by making a donation to COPS.”
The commissioner and Don Speakman, a trustee from COPS, visited the workshop at HMP Risley to receive the donation. Don is a retired Cheshire Police officer whose son also worked for the constabulary and, sadly, lost his life whilst he was a serving officer.
Don said: “It was real pleasure to visit HMP Risley with Cheshire PCC David Keane on behalf of Care of Police Survivors and see the amazing work Andy Tawn and his team are doing to try and help rehabilitate prisoners there by doing something really positive for society and most of all themselves.
“I'd like to thank David for nominating COPS and Andy, his team and most of all the prisoners for making this amazing donation to COPS. It will be put to good use in supporting families of police officers who have died whilst on duty. I would like to pass on thanks on behalf of all the families that this donation will help.”