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. 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.
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
- 100+ bikes from Hetland Garden Centre, Dumfries, Scotland
- 35 bikes from our drop off point in Ipswich
- 40 bikes from Royal Mail Gatwick
- 90 bikes from Isis prison
Big Thanks to you all - though we're 'rather tired'!
We shipped to Ghana last week, so this is a good start towards the next container.
Generous Action Bike customers have just donated the 100th bike for Re~Cycle. Bikes that have been collected at their 5 London stores are coming to Re~Cycle for shipment to Africa via Isis Prison in Woolwich where the bikes are being refurbished in their workshop. The workshop provides useful work and learning opportunities for prisoners and ensures that we receive the bikes in good working order. Tony Yerby of Action Bikes says that the number of bikes coming in is steadily increasing as word of the project spreads.
We are enormously grateful for the enthusiasm and commitment of Tony and his colleagues at Action Bikes for making this collection project work and for the generousity of their customers who have donated their old bikes to us.
One of the 100 bikes collected by Action Bikes - kindly donated by David Hammond from Haddenham, Bucks
Our first shipment loaded on the 3rd February is now on its long journey to Malawi. Loaded with 437 bikes and hundreds of spare parts of all shapes and sizes, the container sailed from Felixstowe an is due to arrive at Lilongwe on the 24th April. On arrival, our partner, Salvo Bikes, a project set up by The Salvation Army International Division as part of its Anti Child Trafficking work, will arrange onward transport to the final destination Mchinji near the boarder with Zambia.
This is the second shipment we have sent to this partner and all involved have been delighted at the popularity of the bikes with local people and the success of the newly refitted and expanded bike workshop housed in an old shipping container that we sent loaded with the first shipment of bikes.
As well as the easy to envisage benefit of the bicycles, the workshop employs two bike mechanics and this additional benefit of creating local emplyoment has encouraged the project to create an additional workshop on the site of the Anti Child Trafficking refuge that will teach tailoring and dressmaking skills that will no doubt offer futher work creation opportunities. We are very proud to support the great work the project undertakes.
Our last shipment of 2011 arrived at The Bicycle Empowerment Network in Cape Town, South Africa last month. Re~Cycle are supporting BEN in their mission to address issues of mobility in local low income areas.
BEN also trains recipients in essential bicycle maintenance and safety, and continues to canvas local authorities to implement bicycle-friendly planning and infrastructure in urban development.
This last shipment also included 101 ex-Royal Mail delivery bicycles - which have a supposed load capacity of 36kgs (but secretly much, much more). We're really excited to hear about how their new owners will use them and what difference they'll make!
See the whole set of unloading pictures on BEN's Facebook page here.
We were in Kenya last November to help the Glad's House Bicycle Workshop fit their first workbench and tool board.
Glad's House took their fifth container in three years at the end of 2011, and volunteer Henry Baldwin was there to help with the unloading, and witness the port-clearing process... which is rarely easy.
Weeks later resident fieldworker Jason Finch visited to help the workshop team organise their working space and build their first dedicated workbench.
On a previous visit in March 2011 Jason had mostly worked on the floor when training the mechanics.
Our main drop off point in Colchester is not easily accessible to people in central Essex who do not have a car or do not regularly visit Colchester. It would be wonderful to have a small storage facility in Chelmsford that could hold a supply of bicycles until there were enough for a van to collect and bring to us in Colchester. This would enable us to collect more bikes and have more to ship to our partners who eagerly await their next consignement from us. It is not economic to travel to pick up individual bikes from here and there but being able to pick up 25-30 at a time would be very worthwhile and justify the cost.
Do you have or know anyone who has an unused garage, large garden shed or outbuilding or small warehouse that we could use in the Chelmsford area? Ideally this would be on an ongoing basis but even something short term would be very useful. Please contact info(at)re-cycle.org or phone 01206 863111 if you may be able to help. Thank you.
This story almost "slipped through the net" but belatedly we now give thanks to Lucas Shotts and his colleagues at Deacons Boat Yard for the mammoth collection of bikes that they recently organised and brought up to Colchester. We will post a photo as soon as we can. 400 bikes is virtually a full container load and it is the biggest single quantity that we have received this year.
Many thanks to Lucas and all at Deacons and of course to all who kindly donated their bikes.
On Friday 9th December we sent the latest container shipment of bicycles to Felixstowe to depart on 16th December for The Bicycling Empowerment Network, Cape Town, South Africa. This takes the total number of bikes sent to Africa to over 39,000 and hopefully it won't be long until we reach the nice round number 40,000.
The Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) South Africa was established in Cape Town in 2002. The main mission of BEN is to address poverty and mobility through the promotion of the bicycle in all its forms. BEN imports used bicycles from Europe, and distributes them to low income areas, trains recipients of the bikes in safety and maintenance, establishes Bicycle Empowerment Centre's (BEC's) and encourages cities to implement bicycle planning and infrastructure.
We loaded 352 bikes including 101 ex. Royal Mail bikes and some 757 packages/items of disassembled bikes and tools to keep their workshops stocked. Many thanks as always to all who donated the bikes that are now on their way to a new life.