Learning bike mechanics can be an empowering process. Assessing and overcoming refurbishment challenges improves numeracy, literacy, critical thinking and problem solving: useful and transferable skills which help those marginalised to progress to mainstream employment.
HMP Risley donates refurbished bikes to underpriveged children
Bikes Recycled from Household Waste Recycling Centres
Bikes get dropouts back to school
Offenders at Lindholme and Everthorpe prisons are influencing high school dropouts in Ghana to go back to school.
The men in our prison workshops have been working hard to restore hundreds of bikes for the Avenues Bicycle Project, who ship the bikes from their base in Hull to communities in need overseas.
A shipment of more than 200 bikes are now being distributed in villages near the Ghana-Togo boundary.
Children who trek long distances to school are top on the list for one of the bikes, all of which are in top working order. One of those who rushed to get registered for a bike was 14-year-old Anita Adjei who quit school two months ago. The form 1 student said, “I asked my father to buy me a bicycle but, he says he has no money, I get tired walking for about 5 miles every day and have lost interest in education.”
At Bodada DA Junior High School in the same district, Haruna Issah 19, a form 2 student had also returned to register after quitting for one term.
Its not just the students – a number of teachers who walk long distances to the school have put in for transfers. Now they have bikes they are reconsidering their request to transfer.
Chris Jarrell, Project Coordinator at Avenue Bicycle Project, thanked the prisoners for their work. “These stories reinforce how important the bicycle recycling work you are all involved in is to people living, working and studying in Ghana.”
“It’s a privilege to be a part of this project” – Colin’s story at HMP Kirkham
What’s it really like for the men who work on our projects in prison? “Colin” is a 38-year-old single male offender who was originally serving his sentence at HMP Haverigg where he trained in our bike workshop. He was transferred to HMP Kirkham, a Category D (or “open”) prison in Lancashire, to serve the remainder of his sentence just after we opened a new bike project there. He is due for release in May 2014.
Our Technical Support Officer says that Colin has built up his bike repair skills and is working to a very high standard. He provides peer support, helping other participants in the workshop at Kirkham. The prison instructors have given him additional responsibilities to identify and log the parts needed by the workshop.
Colin served a custodial sentence for drug offences on a number of occasions and is separated from his three children who live with other family members. He now says he wants to move away from his offending behaviour and start a new, crime-free life. To help him achieve his ambition, we are supporting him to undertake additional training on the Velotech cycle repair and maintenance course through a day release programme. Colin hope to achieve the Gold level of accreditation which will be recognised by potential employers.
We are also in discussions with the prison to enable him to relocate to Northumberland when he is released. He has expressed an interest in volunteering and working in our Northumberland Community projects that currently in development and hopes he will be able to re-connect to his family in the North East.
But for now, he’s working hard to restore old bicycles for people in need and to build up his skills.
“It makes you feel good to do this – it makes me feel like I want to get up and come to work.”
“The project is brilliant – it makes you realise how bad things are for some people and I like that someone else is getting something because of what I do – it’s a privilege to be part of it.”
From a Lancashire jail to war-torn Sri Lanka
We connect prisoners to people in need all over the world. Watch the short video below – Wheelchairs from Lancashire – to see how wheelchairs restored by prisoners at Garth Prison in Lancashire have helped land mine victims in Sri Lanka — and given children in Chennai, India, mobility and independence. And please do share with friends and colleagues. Thanks!
HMP Risley donates refurbished bikes to underpriveged children
Pictured above Left to right: Tony Prescott Hamilton Davies Trust, HMP Risley industries manager Mike Haslam and Mike Givens, Hamilton Davies Trust
Andrew Tawn, Instructional Officer at the prison said: “The bikes have been restored by CHAINS (Change, Help and Advance in New Skills), which enables prisoners to take part in purposeful activity and encourages and promotes better job prospects upon release.”
The CHAINS workshop is supported by the Margaret Carey Foundation, which supplies bikes and distributes them to families and organisations, where they are needed most.
CHAINs provided HDT with 5 BMX bikes, which will be gifted to children in Irlam and Cadishead who don’t already have a bike.
Pictured above: Andrew Tawn (Centre) “Chains” instructional Officer with Tony and Mike from Hamilton Davies Trust
Bikes Recycled from Household Waste Recycling Centres
Reducing plastic waste, recycling more and generally being kinder to the planet is front page news now. At MCF, the bikes we reuse may be predominantly metal and not plastic but refurbishing them and giving them a new lease of life is still important from an environmental perspective. Every year thousands of bikes are taken to council operated recycling centres and recycled along with other scrap metal. But if an item can be reused, recycling is not good enough. Reuse is higher up the waste hierarchy than recycling and it is second only to not creating waste in the first place.
In December 2017 MCF received a grant from the Greggs Environment Foundation, which funds projects that improve the physical environment in a way that also benefits the wider community. The grant allowed MCF to employ a waste management specialist to approach local authorities with the aim of accessing bikes from Household Waste Recycling Centres for reuse.
Emma Clarke, an Environmental Consultant with Resource Futures, an MCF customer and novice cyclist has used her knowledge of the waste industry to help MCF gain access to a number of local authorities. So far, we are in the process of establishing trials for the collections of bikes from two recycling centres and one waste transfer station in the north of England with discussions still on-going with other local authorities and waste management companies. We hope that the current trials are successful and that we can promote our new partnerships in future newsletters. The more bikes we can source, means more to refurbish in our prison workshops and more to donate to our beneficiary organisations to improve the lives of people around the world. We are pleased to be doing our bit to help the environment.
In a short period of time Emma has secured bikes to supply our worshops from Blackburn Waste Transfer Site, Northumbria University and we are beginning a trial at a site in Merseyside.
Since the Margaret Carey Foundation began in 2010 it has recycled over 11,000 bikes and 900 wheelchairs. This is the equivalent to 1,375 tonnes of bikes and 13.5 tonnes of wheelchairs saved from landfill.
Award Winning Workshop
Congratulations to our award winning instructor, Dave Clarke.
Dave is the instructor in the MCF Bike Workshop at HMP Lindholme and has recently been successful at the Yorkshire Prisons Staff Awards 2018. Dave won the award in the category ‘Changing Lives’ and also won the overall award on the night.
“Dave works closely with the offenders persuading them of the benefits of engaging with work. He persuades others of the benefits of working in the area. Dave spends time explaining that a positive working ethos will improve employability chances upon release. The work they undertake results in bikes being sent to third world countries. This means that the work is an opportunity to help others in less fortunate conditions.”
Dave was presented with his award by Director of Custody for Yorkshire, Paul Foweather.
MCF are incredibly proud of all the hard work and dedication our instructors put in, often in challenging circumstances. It is fantastic that Dave has received this recognition for his immense contribution for MCF at HMP Lindholme. A thoroughly well deserved award!
Achievement Awards at HMP Risley
In March MCF Director, David Brown, made his quarterly visit to HMP Risley to meet some of the trainees in the workshop.
During his visit David was able to present 5 Bronze level Achievement awards and 1 Silver level Achievement in recognition of the progress the trainees have made in the workshop.
To achieve a bronze level award trainees must demonstrate the following skills
- Bicycle restoration and recycling
- Completed induction programme
- Basic tools are identified and used safely
- Maintained a good standard of workmanship
To achieve a silver level award trainees must demonstrate the following:
- Bicycle restoration and recycling
- Able to identify faults and repair them
- Complete all safety checks
- Maintained a high level of workmanship
Whilst visiting David was also presented with a cheque for the Margaret Carey Foundation for £260, raised through the sale of bikes refurbished in the workshop.
Credit to the efforts of HMP Risley Bike workshop instructor, Andy Tawn, who has worked tirelessly since the workshop first opened in July 2017 to build the thriving environment for trainees to learn new skills.
HMP Risley donates refurbished bikes to local youth club
At the end of 2017 HMP Risley “Chains” bicycle repair workshop presented 10 BMX bikes to Warrington Youth Club for underprivileged children.
The BMX bikes were donated to the workshop from a variety of sources and refurbished by trainee mechanics in the Margaret Carey Foundation bike workshop.
Andrew Tawn Workshop Instructor says “Im really proud to be part of a workshop that is paying back to the community and helping deprived children. I’m very grateful to all the staff at HMP Risley who have donated bikes along with the Margaret Carey Foundation and Cheshire police who have donated bikes, without these people the workshop simply wouldn’t function”.
All trainees in the workshop will undertake a Margaret Carey Foundation award for bicycle maintenance and tool use, starting off at Bronze and working up to gold level.
One of the workshop trainees that helped refurbish the BMXs said: “I really enjoy building the bikes as it helps keep me busy but most of all I am learning new skills which I never had”.
Warrington youth club will be donating the bikes to children in the coming months.
Award Winning Bike Project in Greater Manchester
Dave Meadows, Bike Project Co-ordinator at St Joseph’s Approved premises has followed up the recent success of the MCF Bradford Bikery by also winning an award. Dave has won the HMPPS Choice Award at the 2017 ESF Award Ceremony.
Dave was nominated for the award after a visit from Andy Cole, the Operational Performance Manager for HMPPS. Both Andy and his colleagues were very impressed with the work Dave has been doing at St Josephs, and in particular they commended Dave’s patience and understanding when working with individuals with mental health issues. Andy felt that this, and the semi-outdoor conditions of the workshop at St Josephs were particularly deserving of recognition and therefore nominated Dave for the award.
Pictured: Dave Meadows with the HMPPS Choice Award in the bike workshop at St Joseph’s
“It was quite an honour to win the HMPPS Choice award at the 2017 ESF Award Ceremony in recognition of my work for the Margaret Carey Foundation at St Josephs Approved Premesis. I enjoy the work I do and it’s always good to receive some positive recognition.”
Manjit Maude, Senior Probation Officer at St Joseph’s says: “Dave is very much part of team at St Joseph’s and his knowledge, skills and experience are valued by the team and residents alike. He brings a professional approach to his work and engages our residents to ensure good outcomes. He always communicates in a timely manner with staff and ensures relevant information is passed on.”
Pictured above: The Bike project team
Award Winning MCF Bradford Bikery
We are delighted to announce that the MCF Bradford Bikery has won a Cycling UK award. The MCF Bradford Bikery was awarded National winner best group achievement.
MCF Bradford Bikery joining forces with Capital of Cycling provided practical help and support to asylum seekers and refugees in Bradford through their “Cycling to Sanctuary” initiative. During the Big Bike Revival the MCF Bradford Bikery gave away over 100 bikes that had been refurbished in MCF prison workshops. Some of the recipients are in absolute transport poverty so a bike can be a crucial tool. They also provide group activities, bike repair and organised rides, giving people positive experience and helping them integrate into the local community
The awards were presented at the Cycling UK Conference in Birmingham on Saturday 7 October. Pictured is MCF Bradford Bikery volunteer Rebecca Wedderburn with Chris Boardman.
Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club Collection Day Success
On Saturday 30 September the Rotary Club of Ilkley Wharfedale organised a recycling day in Ilkley town centre. They collected a variety of items to be refurbished including bikes for Margaret Carey Foundation workshops.
The day was a terrific success with 102 bikes collected for MCF as well as sewing machines, spectacles, workshop equipment, tools and wheelchairs to be refurbished by other organisanisations.
Margaret Carey Foundation would like to thank the Rotarians for all their hard work in again organising a fantastic collection day and all the members of the public who donated items.
The fantastic amount of bikes collected by the rotarians means our workshops will be supplied for a while but we are always happy to take donations of unwanted bikes as we have plenty of storage space. If you would like to donate a bike please call 07874627801 or email Helen
Read the full article on the Ilkley Gazette website
MCF Director David Brown with the collection of donated bikes in Ilkley.
Wheelchair recycling makes NHS case study
Since the start of 2017 old wheelchairs from Airedale Hospital in Steeton, West Yorkshire have been donated to the Margaret Carey Foundation.
The wheelchairs, were refurbished several times before being replaced by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust when they were then taken to HMP Garth Prison in Chorley where they are stripped down, rebuilt and repaired in the MCF prison workshop.
Once refurbished the wheelchairs were distributed by our partner charity PhysioNet transports in countries including Fiji, Ghana, Benin, Swaziland and South Africa.
Michelle West, mobility services manager at the trust, said its wheelchairs were always refurbished several times before being replaced and would otherwise be scrapped if they weren’t donated to the scheme.
A steady supply of wheelchairs to refurbish and donate benefited both charities and helped reduce the cost to the NHS of scrapping the equipment and it was always hoped that other health services in the region would get involved in the initiative.
The successful recycling partnership between the Margaret Carey Foundation, PhysioNet and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Mobility Services has been submitted as case study to the NHS Sustainable Devlopment Unit. The SDU is a national resource for NHS (and public) and they are very keen to hear from any organisations promoting re-use and recycling. The SDU is also the body regulating NHS bodies towards the carbon emissions and sustainability targets and hopefully this could be the next step to more health services setting up a similar scheme.
The link to the full case study is here
New Workshop at HMP Risley
Earlier this year a group from HMP Risley came to the MCF Bradford Bikery to complete their Advanced Bike Maintenance training. We are now delighted to announce that the workshop at HMP Risley is up and running, taking it’s first group of trainees on at the end of July.
The workshop can accommodate up to 15 trainees at a time and we are hoping that the HMP Rispley workshop proves as popular as MCF bike workshops in the other prisons we work in.
They may be fixing bikes in the workshop but they have come up with a more creative name for it. Instead of just being the MCF bike workshop it will be known as the CHAINS workshop – Change, Help, Advance In New Skills.
2017 could be a hugely successful year for MCF with the new workshops in Ashworth Hospital and now HMP Risley. We are at an advanced stage with another prison and hope to be able to announce another bike maintenance workshop before the end of the year. Watch this space…………