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.
Garth Prison Inmates and MCF Help Get Tonynanook Mobile Again
Disabled Lancashire pensioner Tonynanook Kulurachi has had her life transformed after we were able to present her with a wheelchair handbike to replace her old mobility scooter. Tonynanook contacted us when her scooter broke down, leaving her house-bound at her home in Warrington.
Fortunately we had just the thing she needed, thanks to our Garth Prison workshop in Leyland. The handbike was just one of a number of cycles and wheel chairs donated to us each year that are refurbished through our prison engineering workshops schemes.
While a lot of the cycles and wheel chairs we refurbish are sent around the world it was great on this occasion to be able to help someone in the local community.
HMP Liverpool workers speak out
Our project officer, Katy McCormick, visited our bike project in Workshop 6 at HMP Liverpool (Walton) to award Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates of Achievement to some of the trainees. These certificates are given when the men reach a certain level of skill, and are also our way of saying thank you for their work. Many of these men have never received a certificate or any kind of acknowledgement before, and it can mean a lot to their self-esteem. She gave a short presentation about the bikes we had recently sent to Bulgaria and listened to some of them men talk about their experience of the workshop. Here is her report:”A really important part of the project is that the men understand what happens to the bikes they repair. I showed them pictures and talked to them about the bikes we sent to Baba Tonka House in Bulgaria. Bulgaria has the highest number of abandoned children of any country in the EU and these children are kept in huge, state-run institutions with little personal attention or care. Baba Tonka House offers an alternative, supporting disabled children and their families to reduce abandonment. The bikes were an unheard-of treat for the children, and a really useful means of transport for the staff.
I then had a chance to talk to some of the men, asking them about what they liked about the workshop and if they thought they were learning anything that would be useful when they were released.
The feedback about the bikes to Bulgaria made a big impact. “Not being funny but some of the lads had a tear in their eye.” “Makes you think that does. Those kids over there.” “It’s good that you came to talk to us.”
They all agreed they had improved their mechanical skills and some thought it might be useful in the future. “I’ll be able to fix the kiddies’ bikes.” “I wonder how I could set up a project like this when I get out.”
The calm atmosphere in the workshop was a plus. “Every other place I’ve been here I’ve been thrown out. Just my temper. Can’t help it really. But I don’t get stressed here.” “It’s just a good mood in here. Calm.”
The men said that in other workshops each man tends to his own work. Here, they are more likely to work together or help one another out. “Sure, I’ll show him [if he needs help].”
As I left, it seemed to me that the bicycles were almost a by-product. What they are really making in Workshop 6 is self-esteem.
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!
Garden party guests give £500
Thank you to everyone who came to our annual fundraiser at David and Susan’s house in Wilsden, Bradford. The sun shone, the band sounded great, and together you raised £500 to help us keep our new van on the road. The money will cover the costs of road tax and will make a contribution to the insurance costs. The van is out two to three days a week every week, collecting materials from donors around the country, delivering to prison workshops, picking up the restored goods from prisons and delivering them to the various charities that distribute them overseas.
Susan and David put in a tremendous amount of work to make the party a success (although David can only claim partial credit for the good weather!) and we will try something new next year to give them a bit of a rest. Do please get in touch if you have any ideas or would like to host an event at your house, club or society.
If you didn’t get to the party, you can still donate: just click here <a href=”http://www.justgiving.com/margaretcarey/donate/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=buttons&utm_content=margaretcarey&utm_campaign=Donate_JG_Blue_Large”><img src=”http://www.justgiving.com/charities/content/images/logo-buttons/blue/Donate_JG_Blue_Large.gif” alt=”Donate JustGiving” /></a>
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 email@example.com
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
Bradford residents donate bikes to Ugandan orphans
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.
Any old iron?
Bicycles – Wheelchairs – Petrol lawnmower – Sewing machines – Garden tools – Scrap timber
Do you have any of the above that you no longer use? Let us take your unwanted items. Provided it is still in reasonable condition and that, with some TLC at one our offender refurbishment projects, it can be put back into full working order, we would like to hear from you.
Call David on 01535 275530 to arrange a collection
Lifetime Achievement Award for David Brown
David Brown, CEO of the Margaret Carey Foundation, has been awarded the Lord Longford Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to restorative justice and work with prisons. Shami Chakrabarty, the Director of the campaign group, Liberty, presented the award.
David founded Margaret Carey Foundation in 20010 to provide meaningful work for prisoners. The charity rescues disused bikes and wheelchairs that would otherwise be land filled and takes them to prison workshops where they are refurbished. The charity then donates the bikes and wheelchairs to people in need in England and in the developing world.
David retired from the Probation Service in Bradford in 1997 but after less than a year of retirement he was recruited to work for the Inside Out Trust, setting up and managing prison projects until the organisation was suddenly wound up in 2008. David was again tempted to take retirement but instead, his response was to carry on ‘business as usual’ despite no proper funds, no salary, and no organisational backup. He continued to run his projects as a full time volunteer, raising funds through local community events and commandeering friends and family to support. He was finally able to register Margaret Carey Foundation with the Charity Commission in 2010 and to establish it as a limited company the same year.
In the 18 months since then, offenders have refurbished 550 bikes and 600 wheelchairs, which have been distributed to needy people in South Africa, Uganda, Eastern Europe, Fiji and Sri Lanka.
Voluntary and community groups, individuals and private companies contribute the “raw materials” of disused bikes and wheelchairs, and the charity is currently seeking more donations of this type.
The Longford Prize recognises the contribution of an individual, group or organisation working in the area of penal or social reform in showing outstanding qualities of humanity, courage, persistence and originality. It is awarded annually by a prize committee on behalf of the trustees and patrons of the Longford Trust. It is sponsored by the Independent newspaper and organised in association with the Prison Reform Trust.
The prize was awarded at the annual Longford Lecture, given this year by Jon Snow on the subject of “Crime, punishment and the media. “