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.
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!
E-cards and Social Media
Send e-cards to Support MCF on Special Occasions
Whatever the occasion you want to acknowledge and celebrate , whether it’s a birthday , Christmas, Engagement, New Home or New baby you can support MCF by sending e-cards.
This is how it works
1. Select your cause: Select Margaret Carey Foundation from the DontSendMeACard.com website here to support us with the cost of buying and sending greeting cards.
2. Compose an e-card: Choose an e-card image, write a personal message, and choose how much you would have spent on cards.
3. Donate: You can then make your donation via PayPal or credit card. Donations are sent instantly to MCF.
4. Send your e-cards: You can then send up 100 e-cards to friends and family. You can send these all in one-hit, or one at a time. You can also edit the personal message by clicking on it below the e-card preview in the left sidebar.
Challenges and Sponsorship
If you have a place in an event like the Great North Run, the London Marathon or any sporting event then why not raise sponsorship for Margaret Carey Foundation? You may be organising your own event and want to raise sponsorship to support Margaret Carey Foundation.
You can easily set up an online sponsorship page at
Once you have set up your page, maximise your sponsorship by emailing the link to all your friends and family and remember to share your page on social media.
Alternatively, email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request a paper sponsor form.
If we can support your fundraising in any way then please get in touch!
Organise a bike collection day
We’re in urgent need of old bikes!
A constant supply of used bikes is essential for our trainees to learn how to fix a variety of problems on a variety of bikes. Recycling bikes also helps the environment: in our first 5 years, MCF saved 7,112 bikes and 711 wheelchairs from landfill, putting them back into service where they were most needed. That’s about 6000 tonnes of waste diverted. And we plan to recycle even more.
Since we are often not allowed to collect old bikes from amenity tips, we rely on community groups and companies to organise bike collection days for us. Any condition of bike is gratefully received and this way, everyone who donates a bike knows it’s going straight to a good cause.
Could your school, company, community group or rotary club organise a bike collection day for MCF?
Step 1: Get it touch with us to tell us your plans and let us know if you have a date set for your bike collection, so that we can book our van driver to come and collect the bikes. If you’re holding your bike collection day in a public place (like a car park), you’ll have to get permission from the council (we can help you contact the right people).
Step 2: We will send you a PDF flyer for your bike collection day, which groups normally print and circulate through letterboxes and on noticeboards a couple of weeks beforehand. We will also send you JPGs of the same notice for your Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Step 3: Make a day of it, and make it fun! Some groups give everyone who donates a sticker, some a pint of beer! Have lots of volunteers on hand to help people unload from their cars, and sort the bikes into sizes.
Step 4: Our van driver can take up to 40 bikes at a time, so depending on how many bikes you get donated, we might need your help to organise additional transport or temporary storage.
Step 5: You did it! MCF will send your group an official certificate thanking your for your help, stating how many bikes were donated and where theses will go to. Time to start planning next year’s collection…
Bike and Wheelchair Collections 2015: where did the bikes go?
Many thanks to everyone involved in collecting bikes for MCF in 2015. The Rotary Clubs of Ilkley Wharfedale and Keighley both held collection days for Margaret Carey Foundation in 2015 collecting over 100 bikes to be refurbished in Margaret Carey Foundation workshops.
The Rotary Club of Ilkley Wharfedale also collected spectacles, which were refurbished and sent to West Africa by the Specsort Rotary Charity.
If you belong to a group that might consider organising a bike collection day in your area then we would love to hear from you. We need a regular supply of bikes to keep our workshops running and any donations of bikes, bike parts and wheelchairs, whatever the condition, will be gratefully accepted.
Fundraise at work for MCF
Could you fundraise at work to support MCF?
Do you run a shop, pub or any other type of business that has regular visits from members of the public – then why not request a Margaret Carey Foundation collecting tin? We will deliver/ send one to you then all you will need to do is encourage people to fill it with all their spare change. We’ll be in touch approximately once a quarter to arrange to count and bank all the donations.
Does your organisation have a Charity of the Year scheme?
Why not nominate MCF to benefit from all your workplace fundraising for the year. Alternatively, please get in touch to let us know how we can put ourselves forward.
If you have any ideas for workplace fundraising that you would like to discuss please get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
Online Shopping and Ebay
Support MCF when you sell on Ebay
If you are getting rid of unwanted gifts , clearing out your wardrobe or finally disposing of the exercise equipment that’s been gathering dust in the corner of a room by selling on eBay you can raise money for MCF at the same time. eBay for Charity listings are the same as any other eBay listing, except for the blue and yellow eBay for Charity ribbon in search results and MCF’s mission statement and logo will appear in the listing.
All you need to do is choose the percentage you would like to donate to MCF when you list your item and you’ll get a fee credit on your basic insertion and final value fees equal to the percentage you donate. So if you donate 50% of your selling price to a charity, eBay will waive 50% of your fees.
Find out more about eBay charity listings.
Your support with fundraising, volunteering and bike collecting is vital to ensure MCF’s sustainability, so here’s how to get involved!
Thanks for your support!
Thanks for coming along!
Many thanks for coming along!
Friday 26 February 2016, The Octagon in Keighley hosted a fundraising concert for MCF. It was a great night, and a big thank you to Heather, Roger and the Wild Geese for making it memorable!
An actress for 20 years, starring in TV shows like London’s Burning, Ultimate Force, Lip Service and Prey, Heather left her leading role in BBC One drama Waterloo Road in 2014, to fully commit to her flourishing music career.
Over the last three years, Heather has performed four sell out UK tours with her full band as well as four sell-out solo acoustic tours.
Heather will be back on the road later this year with a UK and European Tour performing tracks from her forthcoming EP, ‘Come Home’ which is due for release in the Spring of 2016.
Originally from Bradford, Roger is a blues, jazz and folk musician who has been playing and performing music since he was 17. Roger is best known as a slide guitarist and will be performing a mixture of traditional and original songs.
The Wild Geese
This Bradford band who started performing 25 years ago completed the line-up of this fundraising concert.
MCF bikes headed for Gambia
Wirral-based Pioneer People work tirelessly to bring bikes refurbished in MCF prison workshops to people in rural Africa, where a bike gives priceless access to economic, health and cultural facilities which would otherwise be beyond their reach.
This week Pioneer People’s third container headed to The Gambia, loaded with refurbished bikes and spare parts from HMP Nottingham. This year they have also sent the first 100 bikes to rural Kenya, with 100 more to follow in January 2016. Great work, Pioneer People, we’re proud to support you!
Recycle that Bicycle: over 75 bikes collected!
Many thanks to Ilkey Wharfedale Rotary Club for organising a successful bike donation day on behalf of MCF on Saturday 26th September. The collection took place in the central car park in Ilkley between 10.00am and 2.00pm and we received over 75 bikes which will go on to be refurbished by trainees in our prison workshops. Thanks Ilkley Wharfdale Rotarians and thanks Ilkley!
MCF works with 20 Rotary Clubs who support us in a range of different ways, but particularly by bike collections. If your Rotary Club would like to find out more about the work MCF does in prisons and the community, get in touch with Helen,
HMP Liverpool delivers their 5000th bike
Upstairs to the MCF Bike Workshop at HMP Liverpool, where we’ve been training prisoners in bike mechanics for nearly 15 years. This February, Liverpool delivered their 5000th expertly refurbished bike, which went on to be sold at a bargain price in The Bikery, our community bike hub in Shipley, Bradford.
Read more about our prison workshop projects in 10 prisons across England.