Today I had a great time volunteering at Re-Cycle in Colchester. This was the second day I have spent there lately and today I helped load a 20 foot container with 162 bikes and spares. The container was bound for a new partner project in Tanzania. When I put the seal on the doors at the end it was strange, and very exciting to think that in a short time the doors would be opened in a very different country, a long way away.
There is already a volunteer from Colchester, out in Tanzania, waiting to help set up the project and unload the bikes and spares we crammed in today. The container will also stay there as a workshop and store.
Re-Cycle partners with projects of various types in several African countries. The project might give free or low cost bikes to nurses , health visitors or HIV workers or to school children to help boost their attendance.
The gift of a bike is incredible. Workers can visit remote communities to help people, and students and adults can save valuable cash that they might have had to spend on bush taxis travelling to school and work.
Currently Re-Cycle is in desperate need of bikes. In previous years the Royal Mail donated 2000 old bikes per year. Last year that figure was 65 .
Today we packed 160 odd bikes off. Re-Cycle needs to fill a container every 4-5 weeks with up to 450 bikes ( see photo ) , that is a great number of bikes per year.
I have decided that the best way I can be of help to Re-Cycle is to increase the number of bikes I take down to Colchester.
So if you have a old bike or any bike related bits and bobs( pumps,tools, trailers etc) sitting in a shed somewhere Re-Cycle can send it will be hugely appreciated and make a massive difference. There is no problem persuading people to ride bikes in Africa ( unlike Ipswich ! ), a bike is a very valuable possession. Please ring me or email me if you have any to donate and I will collect asap.
You can see Re-Cycle’s website here http://www.re-cycle.org.uk