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jole rider's Blog

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On the last day of February, the 29th, we packed bike number 10,000 into a sea container for The Gambia.

This very special loading, our 28th, took place outside Dover prison, known correctly as the Dover Immigration Removal Centre.

Detainees, as they are called at the centre run by the Prison Service, have refurbished over 3,000 bikes for the bikes4Africa programme.
Dover has been a major partner to the whole programme and the positive effects felt by all are in large measure due to their involvement. 

The bikes worked on all originate from the local area. Kent Police and Kent County Council contribute, as well as local Rotary Clubs including Canterbury Sunrise.  The model at Dover is very close to being the ideal model for jole rider’s bikes4Africa, with so many sections of society working closely together to change lives.  Bikes are also delivered to Dover by jole rider supporters in Luxembourg, making the bikes4Africa programme truly european.

At this, the fifth shipment to be loaded outside the gatehouse at Dover, jole rider’s team was assisted by Centre staff and volunteer inmates from HMP Standford Hill resettlement prison in north Kent.

To mark the occasion and recognise the successful partnership, the event was attended by senior Prison Service staff, including Sarah Pennington and Paul Carroll, and representatives from the UK Border Agency. Also onside were senior staff from Kent Police including Commander Mark Nottage and Community Liaison Officer Mick Cronin.  Kent police are a main contributor of bicycles to the programme. 

Great big thanks to the Centre Governor and kitchen staff for the celebratory lunch and especially the 10,000th bike cake. 

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We are delighted to announce the launch of our new Badge-A-Bike Virtual Gift.

As well as an ethical gift, Badge-A-Bike is an opportunity to directly transform a child’s life.

Your PERSONAL message is placed on a badge.
The NUMBERED badge is affixed to a bike.
The bike is delivered to a NAMED school in Africa.

Badge-A-Bike is a special and simple Gift for a Birthday, Anniversary or Christmas

To change a child's life costs just £60 

This exciting new initiative is supported by journalist and broadaster Jon Snow 

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On the last Wednesday in July we loaded our 25th sea container, packing in 408 bikes and a whole load of books for African schools.

Our loading team included 20 young people from Hackney Volunteer Police Cadets [VPC].
The Cadets travelled all the way to Hullavington for the day to help us.
They also sponsored, and badged, a fleet of 101 bikes.
The bikes will all go to the same Gambian school.
The bikes were all Mongoose mountain bikes donated by Center Parcs to bikes4Africa.

The sponsorship of these bikes was the first part of Hackney VPC's bikes2Gambia project.
The second part involves cadets going out with jole rider to The Gambia next year, to work on bikes and on jole rider's other education projects alongside young Gambians.

Thank you also to Martin, Helen and Ironbridge Rotary Club for the fantastic books.

Thank you, Gillian, for the yummy 25th celebration cake.

Thank you too, Mr A, for helping Hackney VPC raise the funds to sponsor the bikes.

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On 06 March 2006 jole rider loaded its first sea container of 303 bikes for school children in The Gambia. 
We had no thought, then, as to what jole rider would be doing 5 years on.

But 5 years on, jole rider has expanded its involvement with bikes, literacy and education. 
This month, jole rider will have delivered more than 8,500 bicycles, enabling thousands of children to access education in Africa.
Children also have chairs to sit on, books to read and, as a result, better life chances for themselves and their families. 

“We cannot believe we have sent 25 containers,” director Helen King explains.
“But we regard this as a reasonable start – and, with enough help, the next 25 shouldn’t take as long!”

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