By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Sat, 18/08/2012 - 13:46

Many thanks to the Wonderful staff and volunteers at Action Bikes, who have sent their first 40-foot container to Ghana.  412 bikes as well as parts and tools which will make a massive difference to people's lives. Photos.

Action Bikes are kindly collecting bikes and parts for us at their five shops in Central and South West London.  This is a big help, as there are LOADS of bikes in sheds, and the logistics of getting them to us is the tricky bit.

You can find your closest store here (also other bike reuse projects in London and around the UK) or on our donate a bike page here.

We also for cash donations also, towards to cost of running the charity.

If you're doing a sponsored bike ride, please do it for Re~Cycle!

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 05/07/2012 - 15:30

At Re~Cycle we have traditionally not called upon our friends and contacts to support our work but we are facing a growth in demand: our African partner projects are calling out for more bicycles and at the same time we have seen a massive growth in the number of people in who want to donate their bicycles to us..we're in demand!

Please help us meet this demand and double the number of bicycles we send to 10,800 a year.

How you can help

On average it costs us £10 to source, grade, store and pack each bicycle, along with much needed spare parts.

  • £20 will help us send 2 bicycles and parts
  • £100 will help us send 10 bicycles and parts
  • £500 will help us train community members how to repair bicycles – leaving a legacy for the community

Each bike helps up to six people: take for example the rural family with a new bike helping to get produce to market, helping the whole family.

How to donate? 

Please donate on our Virgin page or find more options on the web site's donate page.

Who we help in Africa – the humble bicycle improving life prospects

Your donation will help us provide bicycles to a variety of people in Africa all of whom make really good use of bicycles, which would otherwise go to the tip in the UK or be left in the shed for years. Read more about the projects we support here.

Ability Bikes Co-operative, Koforidua Ghana: Myriam is physically disabled and is now employed as a bicycle mechanic, and despite having to use crutches to get about she is a very competent and well respected mechanic. Ability Bikes is a micro-enterprise project developed and owned by physically disabled people who gain skills and run their own social enterprise bicycle scheme.

We have provided this project with bikes from the UK for three years, helping to provide employment and keeping the local community on their bikes.

Thank you so much for your support,

Merlin and the Re~Cycle team

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 04/07/2012 - 09:47

Merlin (founder) met a lady called Sue Denim in London and she's put him and Re~Cycle in her latest song and video, which is great :)

They were both unlocking their bikes - Merlin often tells cyclists about what Re~Cycle does, as they:

  • know how great bikes are
  • know bikes are being thrown away
  • might like to help/donate/do a sponsored bike ride

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 19/06/2012 - 14:00

The latest container load of bikes and spares for The Village Bicycle Project in Ghana has just been picked up and taken to the port of Felixstowe. Loaded with 381 bikes, dozens of bags stuffed full of spare parts and hundreds of wheels, tyres and other large spares packed loose, the shipment is due to arrive in 3 weeks time. Many of the bikes will go to projects run by VBP in rural areas of Ghana but some of the spare parts are earmarked for the aptly named "No Rush In Life" bicycle workshop that Re-Cycle is encouraging and doing its best to support, albeit from afar.

Anyone who has visited Ghana will have seen that most of the small enterprises - shops, kiosks, street food vendors and workshops that line the roads in towns and village have religious phrases forming part of their names. Examples might include "In God We Trust Taxi Service", "God Is Merciful Dressmaking", "Walk With The Lord Cold Drinks" or "Fishers Of Men Woodworking". Prosper and Bernard, the two mechanics who set up "The No Rush In Life Bicycle Workshop" chose a name that no doubt reflects their own beliefs! Ghana is in the same time zone as the UK except that GMT is known locally as Ghana Maybe Time. Things get done but not always immediately, if not today it will happen tomorrow - no rush.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 24/05/2012 - 16:50

One of our volunteers has just got himself a job as a bike mechanic. Leon first came to Re~Cycle in March 2010 on a 6 month extended work experience scheme funded by the Future Jobs Fund. After his 26 paid weeks, Leon continued to come in several times a week as an unpaid volunteer.

He quickly became a popular and highly valued member of our team and brought great enthusiasm and a welcome injection of youthful vigour. Sadly despite the 6 months valuable work experience, Leon was still unable to find paid employment.

Leon began spending as much time as he could assisting and learning from our mechanics Matt and Richard. Through Re~Cyce he recently managed, with funding assistance from the Colchester Job Centre, to gain the Cytech Level 1 Bike Maintenance qualification and has now found employment with a local bike shop. Although only a few hours a week initially, he hopes that it will build up to full time.

All at Re~Cycle are delighted to have given Leon a hand in achieving the start of his ambition and wish him every well deserved success. Although our aim is first and foremost to help people in Africa, we also help people in the UK, to widen the benefit and impact of our work.

All down to the power of a bike!  

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 22/05/2012 - 14:46

For a LIMITED PERIOD Chelmsford Co-op to mark the celebrations for International Year of Co-operatives are co-ordinating bike collections for us in the Chelmsford area.

In the first four weeks they have collected 293 bikes for us!! A fabulous result.

Keep them coming Chelmsford!!

Please phone 01245 216914

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 22/05/2012 - 14:30

We now have 2 collection points for bike donations in Chelmsford. If you have a bike you wish to donate and live in or can take your bike to CM2 (Gt. Baddow) area please phone Tim Hatcher 07956 106398. Thanks to CHP for the loan of the storage space that we will be using.

For all other Chelmsford donation enquiries please phone Chris Wybrow 07788 253423.

If you can, please take your bike to the collection point as collections from your address will be limited.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 09/05/2012 - 10:43

Re~Cycle would like to welcome Kelley Parfitt, our new Trust Fundraiser, to the team.

Kelley has been fundraising for the past six years, all in international development, for which she has a passion.

She'll be working Wednesday to Friday, and raising lots of much needed funds - hint hint, please donate, even if she doesn't ask you!

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Mon, 30/04/2012 - 07:44

Derek writes:

Stayed with Jason last night in his very modest 2 room  village house - communal long drop latrine pit and shower from a bucket of well water. He truly lives very simply and fully integrated into village life. His only comfort is a fan which cools his sleeping area helps keep mosquitoes away. No travelling today - bliss, but busy moving stuff from the defunct Ezetela project to the new No Rush In Life Bicycle Workshop.

Jason Finch has been 'our man in Ghana' for a couple of years.  He's been helping us find out about what's going on on the ground, and with setting up new projects.  Has been all over Africa visiting our partners and other bike reuse projects to find out more.

Is a link to his photos there also, with the brilliant workshop he's created by converting an old shipping container.  The high quality has raised the profile of the shop and cycling in general.  The Ezetela workshop employs five mechanics and has a big focus on repairs, which keeps many bikes on the road, reduces reliance on importing bikes and saves people vital money.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 25/04/2012 - 11:28

Derek says:

Another busy day with lots of time spent travelling in a crowded decrepid mini bus weaving at speed dodging pot holes and goats. Tomorrow we are attending a bike training session nearby organised by our partner the Village Bicycle Project.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 24/04/2012 - 14:18

Derek, long serving employee and manager of our Colchester hub, is in Ghana for the first time.  He's visiting partners to get feedback about how we can help them more, tailor our shipments and generally improve what we do.

Living in rural areas with little access to technology, the only contact we've had is through text messages, but they are certainly telling!

1. Meeting with some people from The Village Bicycle Project. They love Re~Cycle but would like us to send them more shipments!

2. Travelling back to Korforidua early tomorrow to spend the day with Ability Bikes Cooperative. The container we sent last month was received recently and they are very pleased with the load. They are truly inspiring and we can take great pride in supporting their work.

We can't wait to hear more from Derek and use the feedback to improve our operations :)

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 04/04/2012 - 16:56

Re~Cycle is looking for someone with the ability and drive to initiate, develop and maintain a trust fundraising programme from scratch. Although Re~Cycle has received some lottery and statutory grants in the past, it has undertaken very little grant or trust fundraising before.

 21 hours per week, £30,000 pro rata.

Millions of unwanted bicycles are rusting in garages or being thrown away in the UK, while in Africa, a four-hour daily walk is common. Mothers collect clean water, parents trek to the farm, factory or market, and children face a 20 mile walk to school and back.

The charity collects unwanted bikes, parts and tools in the UK and ships them to Africa, 38,000 so far. There, our trusted and capable partners refurbish and maintain the bikes, to ensure a long life. Many teach locals to repair their own bikes, helping them to improve their lives in a sustainable way.

The successful candidate will have:

  • A successful track record of working with, and securing significant grants from major funding organisations

  • Experience of researching funding prospects (with knowledge of source materials)

  • Ability to absorb complex information and present it in a clear, logical and appropriate manner

  • Ability to work as part of a team – the role requires collaboration with both managers and peers

  • The post holder must be self motivated and able to work on his/her own initiative

If that sounds like you and you would like to work with a young, enterprising charity with ambitious plans for growth, please see our online information pack which includes a full job description and person specification, abbreviated terms and conditions and application procedure.

Application Procedure

To apply, please send the following to

  1. An application letter including a summary of why you are applying, your skills and experience and how these are relevant to the role, how you meet the person specification requirements and what in particular you would bring to Re~Cycle.
  2. A copy of your current CV.
  3. The names, positions and contact details of at least two referees, including your current or most recent employer. No contact will be made with any referee in advance of an offer being made, without your prior approval.

Send your application to

Closing Date: 18th April  2012. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by end 20th April .

Interviews: 26th April 2012 in central London

Details and background:

Updated - from questions people have asked:
  • Location - you can work from home, will need to visit London, Colchester and Brighton from time to time
  • Staff - we have 3 full time equivilant staff (only one full time in that mix)