May 2016: MCF are delighted to be working in a new partnership with HMP/YOI Hatfield, with our new bike maintenance training workshop bringing our total number of prison projects to 14 workshops in 13 prisons. Here’s an update on progress so far from HMP/YOI Hatfield Communities Engagement Manager, Chris George.
“After your kind donation of tools and equipment, we were able to design and lay out a modest sized workshop at our Hatfield Lakes site, large enough to employ 5 men full time. The project has been a great experience so far for both myself and my Instructor, Bryan Rickatsen. From having no workshop space to operate a shop in or any tools or trained Instructor, thanks to the help and support of The Margaret Carey Foundation, we were able to open a workshop which in turn, is now providing an opportunity for the prisoners at Hatfield to gain new skills and perhaps thoughts of a potential career opportunity.
“Having spoken with you on several occasions and colleagues within the prison estate, most notably during visits to HMP Nottingham and HMP Lindholme’s workshops, I could see that a regular supply of bikes would be one of our biggest challenges. Fortunately, we have managed to secure a regular ‘flow’ from North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) in Scunthorpe. We have had pledges of bikes from the Police in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire as well as the promise of bikes from councils in South and West Yorkshire but as yet due to the decent supply from NLC, I haven’t had to pursue these as yet.
“It is early days for the project having only opened 2 weeks ago but thus far, the prisoners are enjoying the work and getting great satisfaction from carrying out such valuable work for a worthwhile cause such as The Margaret Carey Foundation. It is hoped that as we progress and develop the shop further, we will be able to offer a qualification to the prisoners.”
MCF prison workshops: where we are
MCF is currently running projects in 10 prisons: Liverpool, Haverigg (Cumbria) Garth (Lancashire), Kirkham (Lancashire), Humberside, Kirklevington Grange (N Yorkshire), Northumberland, Lindholme (S Yorkshire), Buckley Hall and Nottingham.
In 2015, we launched two new community bike projects, MCF Shipley Community Bike Hub in Shipley BD18 and MCF Bradford Bikery (in partnership with InCommmunities Group Ltd) in central Bradford. These two projects have become thriving community assets in a short space of time, and we are currently developing our training schedule. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or would like bike maintenance training at your school or community group, we’d be pleased to hear from you so get in touch!
In the last year we have sent refurbished wheelchairs and bikes to overseas aid projects in South Africa, Fiji, Sri Lanka, the Ukraine and Belarus; and in England to families and individuals in Bradford and Bolton.