St Joseph's is an approved premises with an on-site mental health team, based in Greater Manchester. The team work with offenders who are released on licence and have mental health needs.

The bike project at St Joseph's was set up in 2015 and is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Dave Meadows has been the instructor for the project since it began. Although only a small workshop, accommodating only 3 trainees at a time  Dave sees the positive impact the work can have.

Dave says: "I think the trainees gain a lot of satisfaction from knowing that the bikes they refurbish will help those even less fortunate than themselves." 

The trainees also gain a lot of practical skills during their time in the bike workshop. "A couple of years ago a guy called Chris attended the project. Despite being an absolute beginner when he started he really got stuck in, he refurbished over a dozen bikes to an almost professional standard. He was really proud of what he had achieved."

Although the project isn't set up to deliver accredited training Dave is able to provide informal references for former trainees who are applying for jobs in the cycling industry.

Trainees who attend the workshop have varying levels of needs and abilities, so Dave needs to constantly adapt his teaching style according to the individual. 

"I really enjoy seeing the abilities and confidence of the trainees improve during their time on the project."

Dave's hard work and dedication to the workshop was rewarded in 2018 when he was awarded the HMPPS Choice Award at the 2017 ESF Award ceremony. Dave was nominated for the award after a visit from Andy Cole, the operational performance manager for HMPPS. Both Andy and his colleagues were very impressed with the work Dave has been doing at St Joseph's, and in particular they commended Dave’s patience and understanding when working with individuals with mental health issues. Andy felt that this, and the semi-outdoor conditions of the workshop at St Joseph's were particularly deserving of recognition and therefore nominated Dave for the award.

“It was quite an honour to win the HMPPS Choice award at the 2017 ESF Award Ceremony in recognition of my work for the Margaret Carey Foundation at St Joseph's Approved Premesis. I enjoy the work I do and it’s always good to receive some positive recognition.”

Most of the bikes that are refurbished in the St Joseph's workshop are delivered directly from the Margaret Carey Foundation stores in Bradford but some have been donated by local police stations.