Margaret Carey Foundation

Chordiality's adopted charity for 2016/17

Chordiality is pleased to announce that its current adopted charity is the Margaret Carey Foundation.

"In places where there are no forms of public transport or road systems, a bike can make a tremendous difference, for example, to a young person travelling miles to get from home to school or college."

The Margaret Carey Foundation (MCF) is a charity established by Chordiality member David Brown with the primary aim of offering people serving prison sentences a form of meaningful activity, whilst giving such people the opportunity to help others.

The Foundation collects wheelchairs, mobility aids and bikes and takes them to various prisons, where prisoners in dedicated MCF workshops refurbish them to a high standard under the direction of a trained workshop supervisor. If not restored by the charity, many of the items would simply be dumped or sent for scrap.

Once refurbished, the charity then collects the items and, for the most part, donates them to partner charities who give them to people in need, mainly in developing countries. Some of the bikes are also sold at affordable prices through the MCF shop in Shipley, which generates income for the charity. Others either go to the charity's community-based bike workshop, known as The Bikery, based at Buchan Towers, or to a MCF project in Approved Premises, formerly known as probation hostels.

Participants on all the Foundation's projects learn new skills, which can lead to nationally-recognised qualifications. From time to time, a member of staff from the charity visits the projects to let the participants know the positive difference they have made to the recipients of a wheelchair, mobility aid or a bike.

David Brown (pictured) was previously a volunteer for the charity Inside Out, which was created by Margaret Carey herself and which provided a similar service to MCF. When Margaret retired and Inside Out eventually ceased operating, David was inspired to continue what she had started. Margaret offered guidance to the new charity and David decided to name it after her.

Seven years on, the Margaret Carey Foundation is going from strength to strength, but David is always keen to welcome more helping hands.

Anyone wishing to offer their services, in any capacity, is more than welcome. MCF has three community-based bike projects, so people wishing to volunteer, either offering maintenance skills or mechanics, helping with collections or assisting with the everyday running, are encouraged to make contact. For further information, visit the charity's website.