NEWTOWNABBEY Rotary Club is urging local people to donate unwanted bicycles to the ‘Bikes 4 Africa’ project - just one of a number of charities and worthy causes the club is backing during this, its 50th anniversary year.
Newtownabbey Rotary, which recently published an anniversary booklet covering the history of the club and the growth of the Rotary movement, supports a number of local organisations, including the Northern Ireland Hospice, Chest Heart and Stroke, Alzheimer’s Society and the Meningitis Trust.
Its members also back a number of international projects, such as the Bikes 4 Africa initiative which refurbishes second hand bikes and delivers them to communities in Gambia where they enable children to get to and from school more easily.
Having a bike helps the children to begin the school day alert instead of exhausted from walking a long distance in the soaring heat, and stay for extra lessons after school and reach higher academic achievement. The Club has already donated 21 bikes to the project, but is appealing for local people to help increase that number.
Iain Patterson, President of Newtownabbey Rotary Club, urged people to support what is a very worthy cause.
“We’re not asking for people to give us money to buy bikes and we’re not after new bikes, we just want old bikes that people are done with or that they no longer use. We’ll also take bikes that are damaged as they can either be repaired or the parts can be used to fix up other bikes,” he explained.
“We work with other Rotary Clubs to collect the bikes and when we have enough they go in a container and get shipped over to Liverpool where they are sent to the men’s prison where prisoners repair and revamp them and make them roadworthy again. From there they are sent out to Africa where they are distributed to kids who have to walk long distances to get to school. It’s a great project and it can make a real difference to the lives of the children.”
Anyone with a bicycle they no longer want can donate it to Bikes 4 Africa by leaving it at E. A. Davies Insurance Brokers, Hightown Road, Glengormley. Bikes can be left at the offices from Monday - Friday between 9am and 6pm and on Saturdays between 9am and 12.30pm.
Rotary is a worldwide organisation with over 1.2 million members that raises money for charities locally and overseas. It prides itself in serving the community, providing support and service to disadvantaged people.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the work of Newtownabbey Rotary Club should email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07850 671167.