Recycling Lives

The wheels on the bus go round, and round, and round, and round…

Public transport can be problematic and expensive. It costs the charity on average £3.50 per day, per Resident to ensure they can travel to and from their voluntary work placements and training. We spend over £3,500 per year in transport costs alone. It’s frustrating that we have no choice but to spend our resources in this way, yet without the capital to buy our own vehicle, we have no option but to continue depending on public transport and taxis.

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  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Homeless/RefugeHomeless/Refuge
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy


  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
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Recycling Lives Residents are motivated and determined to work hard. They have a strong work ethic and are dedicated to their voluntary work placements as they have chosen to use this opportunity to change their lives. However, the Residents depend on taxis and public transport to travel to their voluntary placements. Thirty-four-year-old Mark “Sparky” Robinson, came to Recycling Lives after losing his flat and being forced to live on the streets. He was referred from a Community Night Shelter by a friend’s mother who was training to be a social worker. But now only a few months on he has turned his life around and is progressing quickly on his journey to fulltime employment and Independent Living. Sparky said: “Before I came to Recycling Lives I would get up, that’s if I did get up, have a drink & fall asleep. Now I get up, we’ve got something to do, it’s a good feeling. Everything is exciting. “Recycling Lives makes you feel good about yourself. My life is basically on track, I can achieve whatever goals I want to, I’ve got a future. I hope to one day own my own business.”” We are seeking sponsorship to buy our own minibus. The cost of buying a 15-seat minibus, and the first year’s insurance is £15,000. If we stopped paying transport costs for Residents (which we simply won’t do), and saved this money, it would take us just over 4 years to build enough capital. In that time we could have housed and helped 160 people back into work and a home of their own. Our Residents could have completed over 1,000 days of work experience and training. A minibus will create new opportunities for the Residents of Recycling Lives. They can travel to their different voluntary placements or training sessions together; they can travel as a team (the Recycling Lives Raiders) to their football matches and they will be able to go on group excursions and days out. We know that many charities ask for a mini-bus to be funded, and this is because a mini-bus can change the opportunities available to their charity beneficiaries. In November 2009, the Residents of Recycling Lives teamed up with a local Blind Society to accompany partially sighted and blind people on a trek to the top of Mount Snowdon. For our Residents this was the first time they’d had the opportunity to help another person and it was a massive success. Our Residents gained a new appreciation of life and the opportunities they had ahead. We want to be able to offer more opportunities like this, and in fact the Residents have asked time and again to have this opportunity. At present transport costs are a major barrier and we simply can’t afford to give them this opportunity again. Additional information: We expect the minibus to be in service for 10 years. Over this period: We could house 400 Residents. Collectively, Residents will attend 90,000 days of work experience and training. Collectively, Residents will undertake 540,000 hours of work experience and training. Based on the current national minimum wage, the Residents will help to raise £3,340,800 of sustainable, earned income to the charity. (The charity receives a donation from Corporate Partners, equivalent to the national minimum wage for the hours the Residents undertake during voluntary work placements.). We can offer 6,760 places, on 520 weekend excursions. This will build the bond between Residents and also allow them to develop various skills. The Recycling Lives Raiders football team will have completed 520 weekly training sessions. As a team, that’s a collective total of over 5720 hours of training. We could save the public purse £12,400,000 through Residents moving from claiming benefits, to full time employment and independent living. Over this 10 year period, every £1 donated to help buy a minibus could ensure we earn £223 of sustainable income. Every £1 donated could save the public purse £827. Every £1 provides the opportunity for 15 people to go to work every morning.