A new year, a new start, or so we thought! Having said that the recent rollout of several vaccines leads us to believe that the end is now really in sight.

Like many organisations our ongoing work and activities have again been restricted by the latest national lockdown measures. We have chosen in the short term to close our shop to the public in order to protect our staff and volunteers, who continue to refurbish any bikes donated to us. While many of our direct customer facing based activities have had to be curtailed for now, we continue to work behind the scenes to provide alternative ways of reaching the more vulnerable people in our communities as well as those that continue to support our important work. We are in the process of moving bike sales from our Shipley Bikery shop online and will offer a local delivery service to try and restrict direct contact during this period. In addition, we are investigating different ways of delivering some of our training content online to fill some of the gaps left by our inability to run face-to-face workshops. More details of all our ongoing activities can be found both on our website and through social media. 

Our MCF team is also looking to build on its existing capabilities and ensure that those running our workshops are well trained and well equipped for when government guidelines permit us to restart our face-to-face activities. As always, anything we do will be carefully conducted in a way to minimise potential risks to those participating in our workshop programs.

During these extraordinary times, ongoing funding continues to be a challenge, as it is for all charitable organisation. We were fortunate enough to secure some additional funding from various sources over the past few months, including The National Lottery, AB Charitable Trust and Julia & Hans Rausing Charitable Trust. Together with funds, such as Garfield Weston and Mary Kinross, that have continued to support our ongoing work, we have been able to continue to remain operational, although largely behind the scenes, during recent national lockdown restrictions. This important funding lifeline continues to help us support people in our community. It also allows us to be prepared for a time when restrictions are lifted and we can once again restart our face-to-face workshop programs with vulnerable young people and adults. Let’s face it, they need our support now more than ever.

I wish to thank the staff and volunteers of MCF for their continued commitment and work, often under difficult circumstances. Finally, I wish to thank those that continue to support and fund MCF as your support continues to provide the vital lifeline that has enabled us to reach and help more vulnerable people.

Please take care and stay safe.

Jon