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.
Action Bikes have five stores in Central ~ West London.
Building on the already successful parts recycling scheme they run for us, Action Bikes are to become Re~Cycle drop-off points. Members of the public can now drop off not only bikes but any spare parts with a bit of life left in them. This is completely free service there is no obligation to make a purchase in store, although I am told they do like to receive biscuits ;0) Re~Cycle does ask donors of bikes to also donate some money (in-store or onine), so we can run the charity - please and thank you.
So...If you're in West London and you have a neglected steed that can be put to a second use, there is no excuse. Get yourself down to Action Bikes and hand it over! While you are in the mood to tidy up, what about taking those tyres you don't use and those pedals? Inner tubes with a hole in are very much needed, please.
They will go to Isis young offenders prison in East London to be refurbished, prior to shipping to Africa.
The bike collection that run during September and October at Coleshill was a great success with 120 bikes being donated plus a great quantity of spare parts. Michael Groll who organised the collection delivered the bikes to us at Colchester today. Many thanks to all who donated bicycles and spare parts and helped Michael collect three times as many bikes as he had set as a target.
We are very grateful for Michael's enthusiasm and hard work in setting up and running the collection and would like to acknowledge the very generous support he received from Blubox Storage Ltd. for provided storage space for the bikes and to J S Sainsbury for assisting with the loading of the bikes and for arranging the transport from Coleshill to Colchester.
A great team effort - many thanks to all. We will shortly confirm where the bike collected will be shipped to.
We now have a collection point in the West Midlands area which will operate until the end of October. Many thanks to Bluebox Self Storage Limited who have provided a 20 foot shipping container to store bikes for free. Bikes can be dropped off at:
Bluebox Self Storage Limited, Trillenium, Gorsey Lane, Coleshill, Warwickshire, B46 1JU; between 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday and 11.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays. On weekdays ask for Lee Smith.
The collections and transport of the bikes to Colchester is co-ordinated by Michael Groll.
Tel. 01675 467785
The collection point is only 400m from Coleshill Parkway train station.
For more information on Bluebox Self Storage Limited visit:
or phone: 01675 470900.
Re~Cycle - Training Golf Caddies, Finding The Next Football Prodigy, And Of Course, Training Bike Mechanics
No, you have not been misdirected to the wrong website. We are publishing a series of reports from the African adventures of intrepid Re~Cycle volunteer Vanessa. She's visiting some of our partners, and all your questions will be answered below....
You Give - The first Re~Cycle project we visited was the charity Glad’s House located in Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city and main port. Liz and Bokey run the charity, which is dedicated to helping Mombasa’s street kids re-integrate into society.
We ship - Glad’s House have received 5 shipments of bikes from Re~Cycle, and ideally would like to receive a shipment every three months.
They thrive - Many of the kids are from broken homes or are orphans. For various reasons, the kids have been forced to live on the streets. Many are drug addicts, who have survived some 'fairly' traumatic experiences.
Re~Cycle bikes are sold to local tradesmen so they can carry their tools, or to local producers to take their goods to market. Locals also bring their bicycles into the workshop for repairs, and Glad’s House occasionally train local bike shops and organisations on bicycle repair and maintenance. The profits from the bike sales pay the wages of the bike mechanics and social workers who provide the counselling, and also fund the programmes such as the golf caddies and vocational training.
Continuing on from the success of last year, on the 8th of October Re~Cycle will be sharing a stall with the Colchester 2020 Travel Plan Club at the University of Essex, Fresher's Fair. On offer will be a selection of refurbished bicycles for sale as well as local cycling information.
We'll be there from 12:00 until 16:00 but make sure you get there early as the bikes go quickly!
All our bikes are fully serviced by our team of qualified mechanics and come with a 60 day guarantee, so make sure you get down to Square 5 at the University on the 8th and pick up a bargain with the added bonus that your money will directly help us to send much needed bicycles and parts to our partner projects in Africa.
Can't make it on the 8th? Don't worry! We will continue to have a wide selection of bikes for sale at very reasonable prices after Fresher's Fair at our Colchester warehouse which is open 9-5 Tuesday-Friday as well as 9-1 on Satudays.
Our sister programme Bikes not Bombs is advertising for a mechanic fieldworker position in Uganda's northern sub-counties. Interested? See the full job description here.
We're really excited to announce a new collaboration with the Ghana West Coast Mountain Biking project, a bicycle hire scheme run between two eco-lodges on the coast of Ghana's Western Region.
The Green Turtle Lodge and the Escape Three Points Lodge have teamed up to offer bicycle rentals, which link the lodges along some of the most picturesque coastal trails in all of Ghana - as well as exploring some of the more remote hinterlands through a series of testing singletrack trails.
Our fantastic team of volunteers managed to squeeze 411 bikes into the container along with lots of parts, tools and a wheel trueing stand - all invaluable to the local mechanics.
This month we were treated to a visit from our man in the field, Jason Finch, who gave us a rundown of how things have been going in Africa. Jason has spent eighteen months based at our partner Ezetela in Dodowa, keeping in close contact with our two other partners in Ghana. He also spent a couple of months travelling around the East Africa coast and visiting our partners there. He's provided us with incredibly valuable information about our partners, and allows us to tailor our shipments to the needs of our partners.
He's recommending a focus on Malawi and Kenya, and the Salvation Army have got on board with this for the future.
We're also pleased to announce that our search for a fundraiser is going well with a total of 34 applicants. Interviews are currently in progress and we hope to announce who the successful candidate is soon!
We urgently need more bicycles to make up the next two shipments to The Village Bicycle Project in Ghana and Glad's House Bike Project in Kenya. We had hoped to send the shipment to Ghana in July but are still a little way short of having enough to make up a full container load. Our partner in Kenya has just distributed all of the bicycles that they received from us at the beginning of April and have now requested the next shipment to be sent as soon as possible.
If you were thinking of ever donating a bike to us please make it now if at all possible. Details of our drop off point in Colchester can be found here together with our opening times and directions how to find us.
We realise that many would be donors are distant from Colchester but if you come this way and are able to bring a bike to us we would be very grateful at any time but particularly right now. Thank you.
We hope to soon be able to announce details of a new collection point in London - news will be posted on this page.