The bike workshop at HMP Lindholme is well established in the prison. MCF are pleased to welcome onboard the new bike workshop Instructor Charlie Sweeney. 

We asked Charlie for a biography and here's what he said about himself: 

"I joined the Army when I was 19, and completed my trade training as an Armourer. Spending the next 23 years repairing small arms and support weapons. Coincidently repairing push bikes used to be part of the Armourer’s job, but by the time I did my trade training the army had stopped using bikes, so they had stopped teaching the basics. After leaving the army I tried a few jobs to see what I fancied doing, however I missed the service life, so I re-joined and served with the Military Provost Guard Service, guarding military camps.

When the time came that I had to retire from the military I joined the prison service as an OSG (operational support grade/group staff). I was an OSG for about 18 months when I saw the advert for a job in Industries as a welder fabricator, refurbishing flat racks for the MoD. I continued working in MoD flat racks for the next 4 years before being asked to move to the bicycle repair workshop when the previous instructor moved on.

Although I haven’t really worked on bikes before, I do have an engineering background and can apply a lot of the principles to bikes. I am due to start my Velotech course in August, and fingers crossed I can then start being a lot more hands on with the guys training.

So far most of the people working in the bike workshop are keen to work on the bikes and can drag distant memories of  working on their own bikes, when they were kids.

More information about HMP Lindholme can be found on the Ministry of Justice website here.