Donegal donates more than 300 bicycles to Africa appeal

Letterkenny Rotary Club launched their annual bicycle appeal for Africa in October

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Donegal donates more than 300 bicycles to Africa appeal

Pictured, following the loading of bikes for Africa on to Martin Boyle’s haulage truck, are members of Letterkenny Rotary Club with staff from Bryson Recycling and Donegal County Council.

More than 300 bicycles have been donated from across Donegal for the Letterkenny Rotary Club’s annual bicycle appeal for Africa.

The Rotary Club launched the appeal in October, to coincide with the first national Re-Use month. The initiative was supported by Donegal County Council and Bryson Recycling.

Bicycles were handed in at the council’s six recycling centres, and are now making their way to Loughlan House, the open prison in County Cavan, where inmates will service the bikes and ensure they are fit for purpose. The bikes will then be sent to Gambia for use by children commuting to school.

“The local drop-off points made the collection so much easier this year for the appeal and while only certain sizes and calibre of bikes are appropriate for the Gambian appeal, all donations are put to good use, be it as spare parts for other bikes or for training purposes,” Hazel Russell of the Rotary Club said.

Suzanne Bogan, county council waste awareness officer, said the initiative “fit perfectly with the aims and ethos of Re-Use month.”

Hazel said, "The involvement of inmates in Loughlan House with a charity such as the Rotary Jole Rider Bike Appeal is a win-win situation for both Rotary and the Prison Service." She said inmates learn a valuable trade while fulfilling a necessary function in ensuring the bikes are ready and safe for future use.

"Rotary Ireland have now also been instrumental in organising an accredited bicycle repair programme through the Prison Service, and inmates who complete that course are now issued with training certificates which could enable them to continue their trade after release, or indeed commence their own bicycle repair business," Hazel said.

"We would like to thank everyone who donated and assisted with this venture, especially Donegal County Council, Bryson Recycling and Martin Boyle Haulage Ltd, and most especially the people of Donegal," she said.