The Margaret Carey Foundation works with prisoners to help them gain useful skills and be better prepared for employment upon their release.

The work completed by the prisoners has a direct impact on disadvantaged people and communities and an environmental benefit too.

MCF rescues scrapped bicycles and wheelchairs that are no longer in use and set up workshops where prisoners clean, adjust and repair them to a high standard. We then give the refurbished bikes and wheelchairs to communities in need, both in England and in developing countries.

In this way, prisoners work to make life easier and better for disadvantaged people. At the same time as helping others, offenders learn to develop a positive work ethic, gain useful skills and become better prepared for employment after release.

By working in this way, we also stop broken and unused bikes and wheelchairs from ending up as rubbish and contributing to landfill.

Projects

Each project is a partnership between MCF, a prison and at least one other organisation that distributes the refurbished goods to people in need.

MCF is currently running projects in: 


12 Prisons: Liverpool, Haverigg (Cumbria) Garth (Lancashire), Kirkham (Lancashire), Humberside, Kirklevington Grange (N Yorkshire), Northumberland, Lindholme (S Yorkshire), Risley, Hatfield (W Yorks), Full Sutton and Nottingham.

1 secure hospital: In the summer of 2016, we opened a bike workshop in Ashworth Hospital, a high-security psychiatric hospital in Merseyside. The project comes from our long-standing relationship with HMP Liverpool, and consists of a workshop for around 10 trainees, working with a qualified instructor.

1 approved premises: In 2015, MCF partnered with Achieve NorthWest in a European Social Fund (ESF)-funded project for people on licensed probation in an approved premises in Greater Manchester. Trainees have an on-site workshop staffed by a trained bike mechanic instructor, and is funded for 5 years.

2 communities: In the autumn of 2015, we launched a new community bike project, MCF Bradford Bikery, based within social housing in central Bradford, and working in partnership with InCommmunities Group Ltd.Also in 2015, MCF opened an affordable community bike shop and workshop in Shipley, which has since thrived into a sustainable social enterprise.

In the last year we have sent refurbished wheelchairs and bikes to overseas aid projects in South Africa, Fiji, Sri Lanka, the Ukraine and Belarus; and in England to families and individuals in Bradford and Bolton.

Funding

MCF relies on donations from individuals to support its work. A donation of £10 will deliver a child’s bicycle to an underprivileged family in time for Christmas. £5 buys a specialist spanner for one of our workshops. £2 buys a new inner tube to get a bike on the road. We now accept donations by text – text MMCF35 and the amount you would like to donate (from £1 to £10) to 70070.

We are grateful to the Monument Trust, the Northern Rock Foundation, and the Persula Foundation for their support for our core costs in running our projects.

Governance

The charity is managed by a volunteer board of trustees: Ian MacDonald (Chair), Meic Bruton, Bill Schofield, Louise MacDonald and Brian Brady.

Want to tell others about our work? Download a printable leaflet.