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Yorkshire Bank Bike Library Scheme Wins International Award

by Holly Blades

The Yorkshire Bank Bike Library scheme has beaten off stiff competition to be named the winner of an international award at a ceremony in Monaco.

It's the very first time a project from the UK has been successful at the annual Peace and Sport Awards. They recognise organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to peace, dialogue and social stability in the world - through sport.

Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries was shortlisted in the category of Sport Simple Program of the Year - and tonight (December 7), the scheme was revealed as the winner.The bike library scheme was launched as a legacy of the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014, which was held in Yorkshire.Its aim is simple: to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike, for free.

The whole community gets involved with the scheme, as anyone can donate their unwanted bikes at one of the county's 62 donation stations.Bikes are then repaired if necessary and made available for people to borrow completely free of charge from one of the bike libraries across Yorkshire.The scheme has gone from strength to strength since it launched three years ago and there are almost 50 bike libraries.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "This is a magnificent achievement and I'm so proud of everyone who is involved in the Yorkshire Bank Bike Library scheme.

"To be the only UK scheme shortlisted in any category at the Peace and Sport awards was fantastic - and to win is true recognition of the amazing work the bike libraries are doing for the community."

Helen Page, Group Innovation & Marketing Director at Yorkshire Bank, said: "We are thrilled that Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries has been recognised by the Peace and Sport Awards. To date there have been 50,000 opportunities for children and their families to borrow one of the 5,500 donated bikes. Communities across Yorkshire have really got behind this initiative and it's a wonderful testament to everyone involved that it's attracting international recognition."

The Bike Library scheme was shortlisted with two other projects - one in Brazil to promote social inclusion for youngsters through sport, the other in Switzerland working with schools to increase participation in softball and baseball.

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