More than 50 people brought their old bikes to Margaret Carey Foundation’s recent bike drive in Bradford. Many were lucky enough to get a new bike for Christmas and were happy to donate their old one. Others were just glad to clear out their sheds and garages. All the bikes will be cleaned and restored by offenders in prison workshops, and then sent overseas to help an orphanage in Uganda.
Margaret Carey Foundation’s chief executive, David Brown, said: “Not many children in Africa will have had a new bike this Christmas. We’re delighted by the generosity of all the people here in Bradford who have played “Santa” to these kids. These bikes also give meaningful work to offenders in prisons across the North of England. They work hard to fix up the bikes so they are just about good as new, before we hand them over to the charity that will get them overseas in the Spring.”
That charity is BeCycling for Africa, led by Chris Armstrong of West Yorkshire. Chris has raised money for shipping the bikes and has formed links with the Uganda National Cycling Association to set up classes to teach young people basic bicycle maintenance and riding skills.
He is also organising the distribution of the bikes. Some of the bikes will go to an orphanage in the isolated town of Fort Portal and some will be used to provide eco-friendly cycle tours of the Kibale National Park for tourists, which the home runs to generate a profit and support the children. Other bikes will be given to young people who work on community projects.
Margaret Carey Foundation is still collecting, so if you have an old bike, please get in touch. Telephone 01535 275530.