Re-cycle (.org) are a Colchester based charity sending bikes to Africa to transform lives. And through a Suffolk-based friend involved with the charity, we buy our bikes, which in turn helps raise funds.
Re-cycle take unwanted bikes and ship them to partners in Africa who run bicycle projects, refurbishing, distributing and maintaining bikes, running bicycle maintenance workshops and teaching courses in safe riding.
In 2019 Re-cycle sent over 10,500 bicycles to Africa. Spadge Hopkins has been collecting and receiving bikes for Re-cycle since 2016. When he has a decent amount, another volunteer comes to collect the bikes in a lorry.
In addition to that, he restores and services bikes for re-sale here. Spadge services all our bikes for Woodfarm Barns and Woodfarm Barges, and supplies us when we need new ones. You can see some being dropped off to our Barge ‘Onderneming’, at Snape Maltings in this pic.
Transport is either non-existent or prohibitively expensive for the majority of people in Africa. Simple, affordable transport generates income and improves lives. In the UK, we are throwing bikes away while millions of people in Africa are forced to walk for hours just to get to school or work. A bicycle can make arduous journeys carrying water, crops or firewood more bearable.
The patron of Re-cycle is British Olympian Chris Boardman and they also have Halfords on board, accepting bikes at some of their stores. Once the bikes arrive at the Re-cycle warehouse they are checked, prepped and loaded into containers.
For a significant birthday (he won’t say which!) Spadge went to Gambia to train mechanics and work on bikes with them. Since he started he has collected over 2000 bikes just from around his base in Framlingham. To learn more have a peek at re-cycle.org and to donate locally to Woodfarm, give Spadge a call on 07831 843922.