DOZENS of unwanted bicycles have been donated as part of a scheme to give families in need the chance to own their own.

As part of a campaign originally launched several weeks ago, Hambleton District Council said it was trying to encourage people who no longer used their old bicycles.

A bicycle collection service was then launched at Bedale Leisure Centre earlier this month.

The first collection sessions saw a total of 42 unwanted bicycles being handed in to volunteers at the centre.

Louise Lowcock, duty officer at Bedale Leisure Centre, said: “We had a mix of bikes from all ages – but far more than we expected.

“There was a lady who brought her unused cycle in – she used to ride it to work every day.

"And another couple who were keen cyclists brought in two bikes that they no longer use – they still have seven though.

“We even had a man who brought four in that he had seen in a skip.

"But the majority of people just thought this was a great way of passing on their unused cycles to people who don’t have."

Amongst some of the donations, a 1980's ladies bike and a specialist fold up cycle, had been handed in.

The unwanted bicycles were then collected by the Yorkshire Bank's Bike Library team for recycling.

In February this year, an 82-year-old from Pickering, was reintroduced to cycling as part of the Yorkshire Bank's scheme.

Alice Wilson, who became partially-blind around four years ago, reportedly gave up any hope that she would ride again.

However, the scheme offered Ms Wilson the chance to ride again with a volunteer.

At the time, she said: "I have been partially sighted for four years, ever since my husband had a stroke.

"It was the pressure of looking after him that caused all the blood vessels to go wrong in my eye.

"I struggle with faces and when I realised my vision was going, I just cried and cried because I could hardly see until I had the laser treatment.

"I used to cycle everywhere – I didn’t want to give my bike up because it was my main means of transport, but it got taken away and I never saw it again.

"Meeting Rob and being introduced to this project is one of the best things I could have ever done, because he got me back riding again. "The help I get from the scheme means everything to me."

A further donation event will open at the leisure centre on Friday, April 12 between 5pm and 8pm.