MCF Refurbished bikes in Sierra Leone
Refurbished bikes are distributed all over the world via the partner charities we work with. We always feedback to trainees in the prison workshops to reinforce the value of the work they are doing and highlighting what a difference a bike can make to someone’s life.
We were delighted to hear two stories from people in Sierra Leone who have received bikes via the Village Bike Project. Bikes are refurbished in our workshops at HMP Humber and HMP Lindholme which are collected and distributed by the Avenues Bicycle Project who send them on to the Village Bike Project in Sierra Leone. The village bike project distribute the bikes to individuals in Sierra Leone and also run bike workshops so that beneficiaries are able to maintain their own bikes once they receive them. Karim Kamara from the Village Bike Project visited two of the beneficiaries to find out if the bikes had made a difference to their lives.
Mafereh Kanu is a student of the saint Augustine agricultural institute lungai. She is 23 years old,She received her bicycle three months ago, from the village bicycle project in Sierra Leone. Yesterday the team visited Mafereh at lungi to get some small interview from her to know how she is using here bicycles.
What is the bast part about having a bike? ” The best part is that,I am now more mobile and frequent in school. I get to my school faster, before I use to walk 6 miles everyday or some times I pay Le 10 for a motorbike ride which equivalent to $1.50. But since I have this bike, it helps me save time and money” Here bicycle is still in good working conditions, bearing breaks gears are still in good shape. She is really taking good care of her bike because it save her time and money.
Mr peter is a Teacher of the saint Augustine school, he is 40 years of age. He received his bicycle three months ago from the village bicycle project in Sierra Leone. Mr peter is an agricultu teacher and also he is an agriculturist, he use to plant rice and crops. The village bicycle project team visited him yesterday to get a small interview with him.
My first question is to ask him what is the important of having a bike. ” The best part is that, I am saving time and money and it brings sustainability in my family. Before is used to wake up 5am in the morning before going to school to visit my farm before going to school. But since I have this bike, now I wake up 7am in the morning to visit my Farm after that I go to school. My bike has been most useful in the sense that I use it more than 10 miles everyday, if I compare my expenses before when I don’t have a bike. Befor 60% of my salary is going in transportation, but now I don’t even spend even 1% of my salary in transportation” Big thanks to Village Bike Project and their partners for making this happen, I hope they send more bicycles so that other people can also save time and money like me.
Margaret Carey’s visit to HMP Kirkham
“Thank you very much indeed for a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the Margaret Carey Foundation. It is clearly going from strength to strength both in terms of your ability to raise funds and to increase the number of prison and community projects.
I was amazed at the visit to the mill to see all the donated stocks of bikes and other equipment, and agree with you that the building has great potential for other activities. The bike workshop in Shipley is clearly also going very well and literally provides a ‘shop window’ for the work of MCF and training opportunities for people in the community.
And our visit to HMP Kirkham yesterday was very enjoyable indeed. I must say I was pretty impressed that the No. 1 Governor was actually waiting in the workshop to meet us and spent a considerable amount of time talking about the work and what it means to him and to the prison. The men working with Ray Stewart and his staff are clearly very well motivated and getting a great deal from being involved. The prison itself and its range of work and activities is very impressive. Please pass on my thanks to everyone we met.”
And here’s what Governor Graham Beck said about MCF:
‘The MCF bicycle repair workshop offers a unique element of our establishment regime. Whilst other activities enable our men to learn new technical skills, and to improve employment prospects whilst serving their sentences, this workshop brings the added feature of teaching the men about outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged people in the world. By subtly teaching the men the value of recycling old and unwanted goods, through honest work; and then offering them to people who genuinely need the machines to enable them to go about their daily lives, they gain a real understanding about the values of a compassionate society, and of course, the motivational boost that comes with helping others. I am hopeful that the combination of technical skill and knowledge, thinking skills associated with adapting knowledge and skills, along with the learning about community, society and lives of others, will bring real benefits to the lives and prospects of our men.
The workshop is a thriving environment with a sense of purpose and values. Our instructor is a dedicated and passionate teacher who communicates the mission of the Margaret Carey Foundation whilst delivering a key part of the establishment regime. I am grateful for the support of the MC Foundation for the work that went into the setting up of the workshop and the ongoing provision of stock, and assistance developing the programme.’
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.”
Helping offenders work to help others
Thanks to funding from Northern Rock Foundation and the Monument Trust, Margaret Carey Foundation is now helping more prisoners than ever before, getting them to work to help people in need all over the world. More than 70 prisoners a week are working on our projects, learning good work habits and skills.
Prisoners are recycling and restoring discarded bikes in five prisons:
- Everthorpe, near Hull in East Yorkshire
- Haverigg, in Millom, Cumbria
- Northumberland, in Morpeth
- Garth, in Leyland, Lancashire
Prisoners are repairing electric mobility aids and gaining certificates in Portable Appliance Testing in one prison:
- Kirklevington, near Cleveland in North Yorkshire
Prisoners repair wheelchairs in one prison
- Garth, in Leyland, Lancashire
Every project is a partnership between the prison and our charity. The prison provides the workshop space, workbenches, any available tools, and an instructor. Margaret Carey Foundation encourages all prisons deliver vocational qualifications associated with mechanical skills. Some institutions deliver literacy and numeracy learning pods in conjunction with the workshop to reach offenders who otherwise will not attend a classroom and we have found this to be very effective.
Prisoners help Ugandan youngsters
More than 100 bikes restored by prisoners at HMP Liverpool and HMP Everthorpe have been donated to an orphanage, a primary school, a hospital and a hospice in Uganda, thanks to our partners at BeCycling Africa.The bikes were originally donated by individuals in the Bradford area of West Yorkshire and by Rotary Clubs across the country and taken by us to our workshops at the prisons.
Could you guide our organisation as we grow and develop?
Margaret Carey Foundation has grown hugely since our charity was registered less than two years ago. New staffing, new funding, and new projects have put us in a strong position to develop new restorative justice projects, generate new income streams, and deliver support for new communities.
We now seek to expand our Board of Trustees in order to ensure that we have the appropriate strategic skills, range of expertise, new ideas and sufficient trustee personnel to support our CEO and staff team effectively during the next stage of MCF’s development.
Becoming a trustee offers the opportunity to use your enthusiasm, initiative, passion and experience to make a real difference in people’s lives. It’s a chance to develop your skills and play a key role in steering the organisation over the coming years.
Our trustees are unsalaried and meet for Board Meetings for approximately 2 hours every two months, currently in the Bradford, West Yorkshire area, on or about the second Monday morning of the month. Travel expenses can be re-claimed, in line with our policy. Cake and refreshments are provided.
As the majority of MCF correspondence and communication is undertaken by email or is internet / web based, it is essential for all trustees to have computer access. We remind all interested applicants that they will not be eligible to become trustees if they are legally disqualified for being so in any way.
Information on how to apply, a full job description and person specification can be downloaded as a pdf here: Trustee pack
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Partners
MCF is a small charity of six, part-time staff. Yet we have more than a dozen projects covering a large area of northern England and the Midlands. How do we do it? With a network of strong partnerships supporting everything we do. We’d like to introduce you to just a few of the organisations which support us with collecting recycled bikes or donating refurbished ones, and explain how we’re maximising our impact by working together.
PhysioNet is a charity based in Yorkshire, set up in 2005 to provide physiotherapy equipment to disabled children and adults in Eastern & Central Europe and in developing countries around the world. They are completely volunteer-run, with no paid staff. They send four to six containers overseas each year, funded by individual donations and small grants. Physionet also organise responsive donations, such as to the Spinal Injuries Assocation for delivery to Fiji in the aftermath of the 2016 cyclone.
PhysioNet collect donated physio equipment, including wheelchairs, from all over the country, but some of them need repairs before they can safely be reused by people in need. That’s where MCF comes in: any wheelchairs that need refurbishing or repair go to our expert workshop at HMP Garth before going back to PhysioNet and being loaded onto the containers.
The equipment helps children and adults far and wide achieve a quality of life not previously accessible to them, with equipment which would otherwise have ended up in the UK waste system. This year, PhysioNet sent containers to Ukraine, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Romania and Bulgaria . Physionet is run by volunteers who have relevant expert knowledge, and partnes with charities in the host country, to ensure the right equipment goes to those most in need. One such example is Malamulele, a charity working with children with Cerebral Palsy in disadvantaged areas of Southern Africa which regularly receives items of physiotherapy equipment and wheelchairs in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The chief executive of PhysioNet is David Kaye. For more information about Physionet, visit their website www.physionet.org.uk