The MCF Workshop at HMP Wymott is the newest addition to the network of prison workshops, opening in July 2022. “Chains” as the bike workshop is known in the prison will accommodate 8 learners at a time.

Andy, the workshop instructor, has been looking forward to setting up the workshop at HMP Wymott, after successfully starting and running the “Chains” bike workshop for 5 years at HMP Risley.

Whilst still at HMP Risley, Andy was funded by MCF to attend the Professional level Velotech Training course, which will enable him to deliver accredited qualifications to the learners in the new workshop at Wymott. Learners can progress to Velotech Gold level which covers practical aspects of bike maintenance.  

The first delivery of bikes was dropped off at HMP Wymott in June 2022 which will all be stripped to use for parts to build up the stock of spares which will be used as the learners refurbish other bikes. 

Andy is keen to create a relaxed atmosphere in the workshop, giving the trainees an opportunity to learn at their own pace with plenty of different training aids around the workshop. The first step for all the new trainees is learning how to strip bikes correctly to recycle some of the parts and learning the name of all the different parts of a bike. There is an expected time frame of around 3-4 months to complete the Velotech course, however this may vary for each learner as they learn at different speeds.

Andy says:

It’s great that the Margaret Carey Foundation were able to secure funding to purchase all the specialist bike tools and equipment needed to set up the bike workshop at HMP Wymott. The workshop environment creates an opportunity for the trainees to learn practical skills to support their rehabiliation and bikes that could have ended up in landfill are becoming safe and reliable bikes again. 

The first delivery of bikes suitable to be refurbished was delivered in August 2022.