Give up your old bikes for a really ‘wheely’ good cause!

Pictured at the launch of the ‘Bikes for Africa’ initiative last week at Mallow Recycling Centre are Gavin Westley, George Salter, Brian Magner, Louis Duffy, Cork Co. Council, Dave Murray, Rotary District Governor, Rory Hawtrey, President of the Rotary Club of Mallow, Jason Dempsey, Rotary Ireland, Cllr Tony O’Shea, Cllr Pat Hayes, Cllr Liam Madden, and Sharon Cregg, President of Mallow Chamber. Photo, S. Murphy.

Bikes for Africa – a campaign that hopes to transform the lives of people in Africa – has been launched by the Rotary Club of Mallow. The project, supported by Cork County Council and funded by the WERLA, aims to collect unwanted bikes that are in good condition and forward them to people in Africa for whom this simple mode of transport can transform their daily lives. An unused bike in your garage could be life-changing for a student in The Gambia. Don’t worry if they need some repair work. Donations of bikes can be left at Mallow, Kanturk and Millstreet Civic Amenity Sites.
We need strong bikes that can withstand rough terrain
Bikes that suit both primary and secondary students
Minimum 24-inch wheel size can be accepted
Bikes that are in reasonable repair
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed the initiative, saying “It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of transportation to connect us with our communities, our amenities, work, education and healthcare. Thanks to the Rotary Club in Mallow, with support from Cork County Council and WERLA, we in Cork County can greatly improve quality of life for people in Africa. Donating old bikes is a great way to recycle and see something put to valuable use. I encourage anyone with an unused bike to consider donating.”
Rory Hawtrey, President of Rotary Mallow, believes that this initiative will open so many opportunities, as children in Africa, especially those living in rural areas, often have a very long way to travel to get to school, perhaps even walking up to 5km a day in searing temperatures. “We are delighted and proud to launch this project – not only are we helping students get an education, we are also supporting the Irish Prison Service who established a Bike Shed at Loughan House Open Centre, where the bikes are refurbished. In 2021, our challenge in Rotary Club of Mallow will be to strengthen our connection with people who need our help. In Africa the advantage of bike ownership in a family can enhance life immeasurably and can significantly improve their lives through access to education, work and essential services,” he said.
Speaking at the launch last week in Mallow Recycling Centre, which is based in Quartertown Industrial Estate, Rotary Mallow spokesman Pat Hayes said, “A bike that has outlived its usefulness here can be refurbished and put to good use again by people in Gambia – particularly children attending school”.
Please note that, as the bicycles will be used over rough terrain, they must be suitable for local conditions. Strong, sturdy bikes with a 24” diameter are most suitable. Racing type bicycles with narrow wheels and tyres, and children’s bikes with stabilisers are not suitable.
Mallow Civic Amenity Site is open Tuesday and Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm, and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm.
Kanturk Civic Amenity Site is open Wednesday and Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm, and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm.
Millstreet Civic Amenity Site is open Monday and Thursday 9:00am to 4:30pm, and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm.