Why do we do what we do?

I feel I am doing good – all prisons should do this sort of work

The need: 

In England and Wales 65 000 people are imprisoned each year and 1 in 2 will reoffend within 12 months (Bromley Briefing, Prison Reform Trust, 2018). When prisoners and ex-offenders are engaged in purposeful activities the likelihood of reoffending is dramatically reduced (Ofsted 2018). In 2018 just 2 in 5 prisons inspected by HMPS received a positive rating for delivery of purposeful activities offered for prisoners to help them gain qualifications, learn skills and increase their chances of employment on release, a critical factor in reducing reoffending. People with criminal convictions face discrimination and barriers to leading a law-abiding life on release,  only one in four people (27%) people released from prison in 2014–15 had a job to go to and half of respondents to a 2016 YouGov survey said that they would not consider employing an offender or ex-offender.

Since 2010 the Margaret Carey Foundation has enabled people with criminal convictions who face stigma and discrimination to lead more fulfilling lives. Trainees are less likely to reoffend in their lifetime, due to increased employability and attitude they have gained through the bike workshop. 

I am doing the course because when I leave prison it will give me the qualification to get a different job.

We know that in order to most effectively support people excluded from society we cannot work in isolation. Over time we have fostered strong partnerships with our prison delivery partners, charities and community organisations.

I have never worked with bikes before so this is a new skill for me. It also helps my mental state whilst in prison, it gives me to concentrate on and tires me out so I can sleep at night. I am also grateful for giving something back to the world.

We are proud of the place our workshops fill within the prison system. In all our partner prisons, our workshops are heavily oversubscribed, and we operate waiting lists.

When asked what differentiates between a prison-run workshop and the MCF-run workshop, Industries Manager at HMYOI Deerbolt, Del Fiddes said: 

"My perspective is that MCF workshops are more community focused and have an ability to interact with and engage larger parts of the community (many prisons are out of town, or do not have an external workshop or shop facility). MCF workshops also have a network and links enabling them to ensure the bikes are sent to LEDC countries, and the refurbished units can have positive outcomes on the communities they are donated to. As an organisation, MCF can specifically focus on bicycle and wheelchair refurbishment and focus its expertise around its core objective. Due to the nature and pressures within a prison there are a multitude of challenges meaning that our resources and focus cannot be dedicated to just the outputs of X1 workshop, it is therefore important to work with charities such as the MCF to support us in delivering a quality provision."