News



By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Tue, 14/10/2014 - 07:57

You might have heard us say a bicycle is more than just a bicycle, but rarely has it been more true than for Moses Musukubili, a health worker and bike shop manager from Namibia’s Zambezi region. For Moses and the children in his care, bikes and bicycle maintenance mean food and a path to a better life.

Children who are supported by the Hard Working Men’s Bicycle Shop in Katima Mulilo play near the shop.

Managing the Hard Working Men’s bicycle shop on the outskirts of Katima Mulilo, Moses is a member of Catholic AIDS Action (CAA), an organisation that coordinates a growing network of health workers throughout the country. One of our partners, BEN Namibia, work with CAA to establish bike social enterprises, resulting in jobs for health volunteers and valuable income, which supports their HIV work. We’ve been sending bikes to these projects since 2007.

For most of us, Namibia is just another name on a map in the vastness of Africa, but for Moses it’s a place that counts almost 160,000 orphans and vulnerable children, representing a staggering 30% of all Namibian children under eighteen.

In the past 10 years Namibia has experienced sustained economic growth, but this hasn't benefitted everyone. Income inequality is still a huge problem and despite the decline of underweight children, malnutrition is widespread. Malnutrition ranges from the visible - stunting (too short for age) and wasting (too thin from height), to the invisible - the deficiency in vital nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, folic acid and Iodine. Moses knows first-hand that malnutrition has serious implications for both mental and physical development. With the number of orphans growing daily as their parents succumb to HIV, the need for support is unrelenting.

Trained CAA volunteers offer love, emotional, practical and educational support to over 18,000 registered children. For the majority, that love starts with nourishment. Moses had been acutely aware that a large number of children in his local community were malnourished, some of them severely so. In order to help, he began the process of registering the names of all the orphans and vulnerable children. The next step was to approach the ministries of health, education, and gender equality to ensure that the children were registered for identity documents, for monitoring of critical health indicators, and importantly to receive government benefits.

Hard Working Men’s bicycle shop
Moses checks data on the list of 175 children that he feeds through the Hard Working Men’s Bicycle Shop in Katima Mulilo.
In response to the need, Catholic AIDS Action then found a donor to provide food. But with the number of children in need increasing daily, there simply wasn’t enough to go around, so Moses started using his bicycle shop profits to buy more. Soon, he was feeding 175 children three times a week!

With strict monitoring of the children, Moses soon saw the results as they began to put on weight, return to health and improve in their school performance.

Ruben Imbala, a security guard, bought his bicycle at the Tuliwonde Bicycle Shop in Ngoma. He uses it to collect firewood, and for mobile Vetkoek sales in the village.

As if 175 mouths to feed is not enough work for one man, Moses’ shop also supports other health workers and outreach volunteers by providing affordable bicycles, bike maintenance, and servicing bicycles in his community.

He’s now growing a customer base in neighbouring Zambia, where quality bicycles are in high demand - so he can feed even more. For him and the children in his care, bikes and bicycle maintenance mean food, food means health, better grades at school and brighter future.

Help us help Moses and BEN Namibia to providing sustainable transport and development in Africa.




By: Derek Balcombe

Posted: Fri, 03/10/2014 - 15:21

Re~Cycle is hiring a Warehouse Supervisor

Re~Cycle is busier than ever and we are looking for someone to help with our increased success...

Full Time - 5 days a week (and every other Saturday morning)

Salary - £18,000 per annum

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 can walk up to 20 miles to get to school and back.

The charity collects unwanted bikes, parts and tools in the UK and ships them to Africa, 59,000 so far. There, our trusted and capable partners refurbish and maintain the bikes, to ensure a long life before distributing them to people as an affordable means of transport. Many teach locals to repair their own bikes, helping them to improve their lives in a sustainable way.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Experience of a warehouse, workshop or distribution environment
  • Experience of working with a structured and methodical approach to tasks and have the ability to change priorites as necessary
  • A proven track record of building and developing good working relationships with colleagues and external contacts
  • Confident team leader skills
  • Good communication skills

The post holder must be self motivated and able to work on his/her own initiative and be confident at managing and prioritising a varied workload.

If that sounds like you and you would like to work with a young, enterprising charity with ambitious plans for growth, please see below on how to apply and to download a Job Description and Person Specification.

Application Procedure:

Please click here to download an application form (once you have clicked on the link you will need to click download and then direct download to access and complete the form in Word) and email it to:  jobs@re-cycle.org

Closing Date: Midday Friday 31st October 2014.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 5pm on Tuesday 4th November 2014.

Interviews: Friday 7th November 2014 in Colchester, Essex

Details and background:

Click here to view the Job Description and Person Specification.

Watch an 8 minute video about us.

Misc:

Location - Wormingford, Nr Colchester
Staff - we only have 7 Staff but many wonderful volunteers
Informal work environment




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 02/10/2014 - 08:33

Re~Cycle bikes for Ghana

This month we sent three containers of bikes to our partners in Ghana.

The first shipment of 435 bicycles was sent to Ability Bikes Cooperative in Ghana, a social enterprise bike shop that provides affordable transport options to the local community of Koforidua. Oli McDonough, a bicycle mechanic from the Halfords Bromley store, recently visited Ability Bikes, helping to improve their storage solutions and stock control. We are extremely happy to be providing them with more bikes to further support their goals.

The second shipment of 429 bicycles went to our highly valued partners the Village Bicycle Project. They’ve been running a number of highly successful workshops in rural parts of Ghana, providing affordable bikes, mechanic training and selling the tools needed to maintain them.

A third container comprised of bikes collected by the 5 London branches of Action Bikes was loaded on the 27th of September at Twickenham RFC by Action Bikes and Re~Cycle staff along with a hoard of wonderful volunteers. A total of 422 bikes, along with spare parts and tools were loaded into the container, and will no doubt be of great use in aiding the Village Bicycle Project with their workshops.

We are ecstatic to be making such great progress and would like to thank our staff, volunteers and supporters for all their incredible work.




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 22/09/2014 - 07:39

ACTION BIKES CONTAINER LOADING FOR REˆCYLE

Our dear friends Action Bikes are loading their 6th container for Re~Cycle on the 27th of September. As always, if you’ve got a few hours to spare - a helping hand would always be greatly appreciated!

If you’ve got a bike or spare parts you’d like to add to the container, simply bring it down on the day! If you arrive before 10am you’ll also be treated to a BBQ lunch!

Where: Twickenham RFC

When Saturday 27th Sep 9:30 - 16:30

View on map - http://bit.ly/1tvNhEx




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 15/09/2014 - 05:15

Hardcourt Re~Cycle Auction

Hardcourt are exhibiting a number of exquisitely customised polo bike wheel covers at Look Mum No Hands! in Mare street.

All the works will be available to buy via silent auction, with all proceeds going to Re~Cycle. All the works can be viewed here.

To bid for one of these beautiful polo bike wheel covers, email hardcourt@lookmumnohands.com including the artist name and your auction bid amount (Reserve £30).

Winners will be announced on the 6th October. 

The exhibition is running from 4th September - 4th October. 

Look Mum No Hands
125—127 Mare Street
London 
E8 3RH

Hardcourt Re~Cycle Auction Dan Mather

hardcourt Re~Cycle Auction Isabelle Falconer

hardcourt Re~Cycle Auction James Chuter



By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Wed, 20/08/2014 - 07:34

BEN SA container loading

Last week we sent another container of bikes to the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) in South Africa. A total of 422 bikes were shipped along with tools and spare parts needed to maintain them. Some of these bikes will be sent to a new Bicycling Empowerment Centre (BEC) in Montagu, approximately 150 miles North East of Cape Town.

Kevin Ablitt and Noelle Peacock

This new workshop is being set up in a shipping container thanks to the support of 2 donors and long term supporters of Re~Cycle: Kevin Ablitt and Noelle Peacock. Together they have raised a staggering £6,000 to fund the project. These funds have paid for the shipping costs of the 40’ container and a 20’ container donated by BEN to the new BEC in Montagu.

The 20’ container will be converted into a fully operational bicycle workshop. William Swanepoel, the new BEC manager, will run the workshop. The funds raised by Kevin and Noelle will also cover business and mechanic training for William to ensure that the workshop is a success. A total of 50 bikes will be sent for the new shop, along with spares and tools needed to kit out the workshop. Kevin and Noelle will also be travelling to South Africa in October to assist with the setting up of the new workshop, to help it get off to a good start!




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Sat, 16/08/2014 - 08:33

Prosper Village Bicycle Project

Meet Prosper Dzandu, one of the Village Bicycle Project's master mechanics. Prosper joined the Village Bicycle Project in August 2013 after working on a project with Jason (VBP Country Director) in 2010. Originally a Kente weaver, he retrained as a bicycle mechanic, putting his meticulous skills to use to repair and maintain bicycles. 

Prosper's workshop

Now Prosper runs his own bike workshop 'No Rush in Life Bicycle Workshop' (pictured above). Previously he’d been working out of a wooden shack, which wasn’t secure, meaning he’d have to sleep there every night with his wife. He’s now upgraded to a metal construction so he can secure his shop and not worry about it being broken into.

Prosper's apprentice

As well as supporting his wife and five children, Prosper is training up apprentices in all things bike related. His latest apprentice is pictured above in blue.

Prosper Village Bicycle Project 2

When he’s not running his workshop, Prosper works with the Village Bicycle project to train others in bicycle maintenance (you can read about such projects here). He’s proven to be an invaluable member of the VBP team – clearly communicating and imparting his expert knowledge to all those he works with.

Prosper's tools

Re~Cycle works in partnership with many self-sustainable bike shops – Prosper’s shop is now one of them. We send him bikes and spare parts so he can sustain his business – this is what we call the ‘revolving fund’. He sells on the bikes at a fraction of the market value, providing affordable transport to the local community as well as ensuring that the bikes we provide carry on working for years to come.

We wish Prosper all the luck with his workshop and look forward to seeing him again!




By: Derek Balcombe

Posted: Tue, 29/07/2014 - 08:58

Another container has been loaded and is now on its way to The Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) in Namibia. On arrival the bikes will be shared between several of the 32 Bicycling Empowerment Centres (workshops) set up by BEN throughout the country. Most are in rural areas where public transport is non existent and where use of a bicycle will massively reduce journey times normally made on foot, improve the effectiveness of health workers and help generate and sustain local employment opportunities. Please see http://bennamibia.org/about-us-2/ for more information about the impact of bicycles in Namibia. 


Many thanks as always for the many individuals, groups and organisations who donated the bicycles to us and trust that you will delighted at the power of a humble bicycle has to improve lives in Africa. 




By: Derek Balcombe

Posted: Fri, 18/07/2014 - 12:17

This week we have sent off another container to The Village Bicycle Project (VBP) in Ghana. This one was loaded with 441 bicycles and brought the total up to 148 shipments sent to Africa. VBP's Program Officer, Jason Finch will be visiting the UK at the end of August and we are looking forward to seeing him again and catching up on the latest news of their bicycle programs and the impact of the distribution of bikes to rural communities. Most of the bikes in the container were collected on our behalf by Halfords and we thank them and all of their customers who kindly took their unwanted bikes to their local Halfords store during the recent trade in event run over a 5 day period. Very well done and many thanks again to all of the Halfords staff and customers who contributed to the event's success.




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 17/07/2014 - 13:31

The Isle of Wight branch was set up by the late Tony Harding and to date, has collected and delivered over 1200 bikes to Re~Cycle. The branch is now run and co-ordinated by Tony’s son, Antony Harding, who along with the local community continue Tony's legacy.

Recently our Isle of Wight team delivered 134 bicycles, along with wheels and spare parts to our new HQ in Colchester. All this was completed in a single day, with a 337 mile round trip!

Tony’s work was nothing short of inspirational, bringing together people and businesses from the local community to help get these bikes to us at extremely low cost.

 

Tony Harding pictured third from left.
The bicycles are stored free of charge by the generous people at Innerspace self storage in Cowes.  They now receive roughly 7 bikes per week – with locals from all over the island riding down to deliver their old bikes! A local service station, Bartletts in Newchurch provide an 8m long truck to transport the bicycles to our HQ and even the ferry ride is covered by the ferry company, Whitelink.

 

The local community have proven to be instrumental in the success of the branch, with volunteers helping to prepare, load and transport the bikes, even paying for the fuel needed to get to Colchester and back. It’s truly wonderful to see so many people coming together to make this all happen and we look forward to receiving the next delivery! 

 

If you are based on the Isle of Wight and have any unwanted and unused bicycles please email: re-cycle-isle-of-wight@hotmail.com for details. Donations can also be made through Paypal to re-cycle-isle-of-wight@hotmail.com




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 17/07/2014 - 12:50

London to Brighton Charity Bike Ride

Over 2,000 people will be riding from London to Brighton for their charity of choice this September – we need you to represent us!

The challenge begins in South London and through the course of the challenge, you’ll pass through Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Banstead, Haywards Heath and cross the finish line in Brighton. The ride is 54 miles long, making it the perfect event for newcomers wanting to get involved with long distance biking. The spirit of the event is about taking part, so whether you want to take it slow or have a go at beating your personal best – it’s up to you.

All you need to do is pledge to raise £100 Re~Cycle. To take part simply fill out the online booking form!

Start Point - Clapham Common, London

Registration - 06:30 to 09:30

Finish Point - Madeira Drive, Brighton

 

 




By: Derek Balcombe

Posted: Wed, 09/07/2014 - 08:06

Following our recent relocation to our new warehouse in Wormingford, operations are now getting back to normal and we are currently loading the second container from our new premises and the 15th of 2014 (we did 16 in the whole last year) - this one is for The Village Bicycle Project in Ghana. We are very pleased to have started to recruit some new volunteers from the surrounding area and delighted that virtually all of our long term volunteers are making the effort to get to us, despite in many cases a slightly longer journey. Well done and thank you all.




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