Eleanor Foundation wants disused Guernsey bikes for new life in Africa

February 14th, 2013 by Richard Lord

Allister Carey of The Eleanor Foundation (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

The Eleanor Foundation, set up in the memory of Eleanor Carey, is launching an initiative to collect neglected or disused bicycles in Guernsey for shipment to Re~cycle in Colchester, where they will be sorted, and shipped to Africa.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Guernsey residents to clear out their sheds, garages, and outbuildings of unwanted and disused bicycles. The initiative launches on 23 February 2013.

Since 1998 Re~cycle has shipped over 43,000 bicycles to 15 African countries.

Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, The Gambia, Zambia, Liberia, Uganda, and Malawi have been the main countries receiving Re~cycle bikes.

Allister Carey said “Re~cycle forms partnerships in the countries that they ship bikes to.”

The people taking delivery of the bikes in Africa, distribute them, and make sure they can be maintained.

“Re~cycle has trained their partners in Africa in bike maintenance and also road safety,” he said.

Maintenance of bicycles sent by Re~cycle to Ghana (click image to expand – image courtesy of Jason Elliot Finch)

The Eleanor Foundation is looking to collect roadworthy bikes and not necessarily specialised racing bikes, which may be unsuitable for African roads. Bikes must be suitable for adults and for children aged seven and above.

Children’s bikes with wooden or plastic training wheels are not suitable for shipment.

As long as a bike is serviceable and not seized-up and can be restored to a roadworthy condition it is suitable for shipment to Africa.

Receiving bicycles with flat tyres is not a problem. Any racing bikes received are shipped to Re~cycle in Colchester, where the bike will be fully restored and sold in the UK to raise money for the charity to cover their costs.

The bikes in Africa help people get to work, and children get to school. They help families go to health centres, and outreach health workers reach patients in remote villages. Bicycles help people collect firewood and water from long distances away.

“I am sure there are lots of bikes in Guernsey sitting in sheds, garages, outbuildings doing nothing. The benefits that these bikes could bring to recipients in Africa is extraordinary. They will transform lives,” Allister Carey said.

“There are a lot of former Royal Mail bikes that are sent out. These can be modified by adding racks to carry firewood or containers of water.”

“Trailers are built to be hitched onto bikes for use as a makeshift ambulance,” he said.

The Eleanor Foundation will start accepting bikes on Saturday 23 February 2013 at Unit 3 of the Jones & Bradburn building in the industrial estate on Braye Road, Vale.

Unit 3 is on the left side of the main road entrance of the industrial estate. The Eleanor Foundation volunteers will accept bicycles at this location from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, and also Sunday 24 February 2013, and for the three following weekends.

Norma and Ursula maintaining a child’s bicycle in South Africa (click image to expand – image courtesy of Re~cycle)

The States of Guernsey Public Services Department Longue Hougue recycling facility will also accept bicycles for this worthwhile initiative during normal opening hours on weekdays.

Bruno Kay-Mouat at Alderney Shipping will provide containers for the bicycles and ship them to Poole for free, and an anonymous donor is covering the cost of the road haulage to Re~cycle in Colchester.


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