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Courtesy of XO Bikes
XO Bikes is part of a charity 'Onwards & Upwards' which has been set up to find employment for ex-offenders.
Their aim is to break the cycle of re-offending, which is often driven by the fact that people coming out of
prison are unable to find work. XO Bikes train men to be bike mechanics.
They have two shops, one in Lewisham and one in Wandsworth, where they sell the refurbished bikes. The bikes aren’t new, but they’re as good as. The fixers who refurbish and refinish them see to that. Each bike has been donated, some by the public, some by the police (XO Bikes are the Met’s chosen charity for unclaimed bikes), others by the railways, universities and property groups.
They are bikes with a past that now have a future, just like the prison leavers who are trained to be fully qualified mechanics. Onwards & Upwards intend XO Bikes to be self-sustaining in due course, but meanwhile Tom's Trust has given them a grant to provide seed-corn for the business.