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Diasporia News of Monday, 18 May 2015

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600 bikes going from York to Ghana

OLD bikes restored by volunteers in York are being shipped out to Africa to raise funds for orphans.

York’s Bike Rescue Project is sending hundreds of two-wheelers to Ghana after a team of volunteers spent months giving them a new lease of life.

Some of the bikes will be sold on the team’s arrival to fund the trip, others will be sold to give the orphanage funding, and a number of bikes will be given to the children at Cherubs Orphanage.

The charity’s latest mission, which is based out of a Walmgate workshop, was brought to life by Ghanian Isaac Ampomah.

Mr Ampomah decided to help when he found bikes that were taken to City of York Council’s Hazel Court Recycling Centre could be saved and put to better use in his homeland.

Simon Thomas, training manager at Bike Rescue Project, said volunteers had collected about 600 bikes and restored them before they are sold in West Africa.

“We have been preparing the bikes to send to Ghana for some time and a lot of volunteers have helped strip or fix them while learning a bit about bike mechanics along the way,” Mr Thomas said.

“Dringhouses Scout Group has also donated some bikes and they are going to be given to the orphanage.

“We are really pleased to be doing this and it’s something we want to keep doing and develop.

“Quite a lot of the bikes we got had been taken to the tip in Hazel Court, but Isaac works there and is originally from Ghana.

“He has got connections to the orphanage and has organised the shipping.”

The charity was established in 2006 and now employs five people and has a board of trustees following a period of growth which saw them raise £300,000 in 2011 to move into the workshop they use today.