One of the country' leading recycling charities is calling on people to make use of thousands of unused bicycles across the country and change lives.
Every year thousands of bikes are thrown away or lie unused in sheds, garages and backyards while communities in Africa could benefit from recycled cycles.
As part of a nationwide campaign supported by Rotary International the Alloa Community Enterprise Ltd (ACE) has just transported around 120 bikes from Scotland to the Jole Rider Charity in Bath.
ACE raced to the rescue after receiving a call for help from Alloa and Dunfermline (Carnegie) Rotary Clubs. The two rotary clubs had been let down by their hauliers and ACE, who specialise in bulk recycling collections, stepped in to help out and transported the bikes south on the first leg of a 3,000 mile journey which will finish in Gambia.
Rotary clubs across Scotland and the rest of UK collect bikes and donate them to the Jole Rider Charity so they can be refurbished and shipped to communities across Africa to help children and families. So far more than 10,000 bikes have been sent to children in West Africa and there is a demand for even more.
Many African children live in remote communities a long way from their nearest school. Without transport their only way to get an education is to walk, often many miles, in searing heat. A bicycle can make a major difference for children, their families and whole communities.
A recycled bicycle from Britain can help an African child get to school on time, arrive alert instead of exhausted, remain in school longer for extra lessons, stay safe by travelling home in daylight and reach higher academic achievement.
It is estimated the number of students at rural schools in the Gambia who have successfully achieved the entry requirement for university as a direct result of the bicycles has more than doubled in the last six years.
ACE Managing Director, Malcolm McArdle said: “ACE have always supported Rotary and the Jole Rider charity is making a real difference to rural communities in Gambia. We are delighted to have been able to help. It's a great idea and we would encourage anyone with an unused bike to donate it, and £10 to cover shipping costs to Africa, to their local Rotary Club.”
For further information on ACE please visit www.recycleit.org.uk or call 01259 215090