Busy Fix and Learn Sessions at the Hub

2018 was a busy year with over 603 visits to Friday 'Fix and Learn' bike maintenance sessions and 123 people attending bike maintenance training at outreach events. 60% of those were under 18 with 40% identifying as BME.

"I've put on new brake pads, on new cables, and never done it before, I'd be interested in doing up bikes, as I've a lot of time on my hands, I'd like to start helping out"

Bike to the Future

In partnership with Bradford Youth Services 'Youth in Mind' program, 40 young people completed bespoke 4 week 'Bike to the Future' maintenance courses. 4 young pupils at risk of exclusion completed a similar 4 week course.

"Our young people although on the verge of exclusion engaged really well. They have taken a lot of positives out of it. ” James Firth. Laisterdyke Leadership Academy

Work Placements

 In partnership with Incommunities Housing Association MCF has provided paid work placements along with employability support including training courses and CV writing. MCF was a host employer for the European Funded STEP scheme and took on a number of employees on a 6 month basis at it's projects in Bradford and Shipley. 

Chris Widdop, who was on a placement at the
 Capital of Cycling Hub in Bradford City Centre has since found employment working as a cycling instructor.  Jamie Hanslip, who was on a placement at the Shipey Bikery has also gone on to secure full time employment with Incommunities. 

Pictured L - R: Jamie Hanslip and John HYde at the MCF Bikery, Shipley

Refugees and Locals

"The way you looked after us, we really appreciated it – where we are from it is hard. You welcomed us when we had just arrived and it was like you were our family. I want to say thank you for this. "

Building on the award winning 'Cycling to Sanctuary' partnership with Capital of Cycling, MCF continues to support new migrants and locals in transport poverty through funded provision of bikes, bike maintenance training and weekly bike rides. More than 80 people took part in activities throughout 2018. 

Youth Offending 

"Margaret Carey Foundation are delivering an excellent project in Capital of Cycling." Derek Nolan, Bradford Youth Offending Team.

51 young people helped recycle bikes with 18 completing a 4 week 'earn-a-bike' course keeping the bike they had learned how to fix. Over 240 hours of sessions were delivered in 2018 with several young people returning as volunteers and progressing to further training.

HMP Risley Donates Refurbished Bikes To Underpriveleged Children

May 2018

On 19th April, Tony Prescott and Mike Givens from Hamilton Davies Trust, visited HMP Risley in Warrington to collect some bikes that had been refurbished in the Bicycle repair workshop “Chains”.

Pictured  Left to right: Tony Prescott Hamilton Davies Trust, HMP Risley industries manager Mike Haslam and Mike Givens, Hamilton Davies Trust

Andrew Tawn, Instructional Officer at the prison said: “The bikes have been restored by CHAINS (Change, Help and Advance in New Skills), which enables prisoners to take part in purposeful activity and encourages and promotes better job prospects upon release.”

The CHAINS workshop is supported by the Margaret Carey Foundation, which supplies bikes and distributes them to families  and organisations, where they are needed most.

CHAINs provided HDT with 5 BMX bikes, which will be gifted to children in Irlam and Cadishead who don’t already have a bike.


Award Winning Workshop

April 2018

Congratulations to our award winning instructor, Dave Clarke.

Dave is the instructor in the MCF Bike Workshop at HMP Lindholme and has recently been successful at the Yorkshire Prisons Staff Awards 2018. Dave won the award in the category ‘Changing Lives’ and also won the overall award on the night.

“Dave works closely with the offenders persuading them of the benefits of engaging with work. He persuades others of the benefits of working in the area. Dave spends time explaining that a positive working ethos will improve employability chances upon release. The work they undertake results in bikes being sent to third world countries. This means that the work is an opportunity to help others in less fortunate conditions.”

Dave was presented with his award by Director of Custody for Yorkshire, Paul Foweather.

MCF are incredibly proud of all the hard work and dedication our instructors put in, often in challenging circumstances. It is fantastic that Dave has received this recognition for his immense contribution for MCF at HMP Lindholme. A thoroughly well deserved award!

Congratulations Dave!

Pictured below, HMP Lindholme Workshop Instructor Dave Clarke taking part in the Tour De Yorkshire Sportive 2017


Achievement Awards at HMP Risley

April 2018

In March MCF Director, David Brown, made his quarterly visit to HMP Risley to meet some of the trainees in the workshop.

During his visit David was able to present 5 Bronze level Achievement awards and 1 Silver level Achievement in recognition of the progress the trainees have made in the workshop.

To achieve a bronze level award trainees must demonstrate the following skills

  • Bicycle restoration and recycling
  • Completed induction programme
  • Basic tools are identified and used safely
  • Maintained a good standard of workmanship

To achieve a silver level award trainees must demonstrate the following:

  • Bicycle restoration and recycling
  • Able to identify faults and repair them
  • Complete all safety checks
  • Maintained a high level of workmanship

Whilst visiting David was also presented with a cheque for the Margaret Carey Foundation for £260, raised through the sale of bikes refurbished in the workshop.

Credit to the efforts of HMP Risley Bike workshop instructor, Andy Tawn, who has worked tirelessly since the workshop first opened in July 2017 to build the thriving environment for trainees to learn new skills.


Bikes Recycled From Household Waste Centres

April 2018

Reducing plastic waste, recycling more and generally being kinder to the planet is front page news now. At MCF, the bikes we reuse may be predominantly metal and not plastic but refurbishing them and giving them a new lease of life is still important from an environmental perspective. Every year thousands of bikes are taken to council operated recycling centres and recycled along with other scrap metal. But if an item can be reused, recycling is not good enough. Reuse is higher up the waste hierarchy than recycling and it is second only to not creating waste in the first place.

In December 2017 MCF received a grant from the Greggs Environment Foundation, which funds projects that improve the physical environment in a way that also benefits the wider community. The grant allowed MCF to employ a waste management specialist to approach local authorities with the aim of accessing bikes from Household Waste Recycling Centres for reuse.

Emma Clarke, an Environmental Consultant with Resource Futures, an MCF customer and novice cyclist has used her knowledge of the waste industry to help MCF gain access to a number of local authorities. So far, we are in the process of establishing trials for the collections of bikes from two recycling centres and one waste transfer station in the north of England with discussions still on-going with other local authorities and waste management companies. We hope that the current trials are successful and that we can promote our new partnerships in future newsletters.  The more bikes we can source, means more to refurbish in our prison workshops and more to donate to our beneficiary organisations to improve the lives of people around the world. We are pleased to be doing our bit to help the environment.

In a short period of time Emma has secured bikes to supply our worshops from Blackburn Waste Transfer Site, Northumbria University and we are beginning a trial at a site in Merseyside.

Since the Margaret Carey Foundation began in 2010 it has recycled over 11,000 bikes and 900 wheelchairs. This is the equivalent to 1,375 tonnes of bikes and 13.5 tonnes of wheelchairs saved from landfill.


HMP Risley Donates Refurbished Bikes To Local Youth Club

January 2018

At the end of 2017 HMP Risley “Chains” bicycle repair workshop presented 10 BMX bikes to Warrington Youth Club for underprivileged children.

The BMX bikes were donated to the workshop from a variety of sources and refurbished by trainee mechanics in the Margaret Carey Foundation bike workshop.

Andrew Tawn Workshop Instructor says “Im really proud to be part of a workshop that is paying back to the community and helping deprived children. I’m very grateful to all the staff at HMP Risley who have donated bikes along with the Margaret Carey Foundation and Cheshire police who have donated bikes, without these people the workshop simply wouldn’t function”.

All trainees in the workshop will undertake a Margaret Carey Foundation award for bicycle maintenance and tool use, starting off at Bronze and working up to gold level.

One of the workshop trainees that helped refurbish the BMXs said: “I really enjoy building the bikes as it helps keep me busy but most of all I am learning new skills which I never had”.

Warrington youth club will be donating the bikes to children in the coming months.