Pupils hit top gear in bike gift project

Jesmond Road Primary School pupil Jaydon Marsh on the bike that has been donated to the Gambian project with fellow pupils
Jesmond Road Primary School pupil Jaydon Marsh on the bike that has been donated to the Gambian project with fellow pupils

CHARITABLE youngsters have given disadvantaged African children a lift by sending them a restored bike and sports equipment.

Children at Jesmond Road Primary School, in Percy Street, Hartlepool, have spent the past few months restoring the bike which will be sent to The Gambia, in west Africa.

The Year 5 children took time out of lessons to work on the bike with the help of pupils and staff from Catcote School Business and Enterprise College.

The bike was a wreck before youngsters began to restore it by adding new tyres and giving it a lick of paint.

Cathryn Huskisson, social inclusion assistant at Jesmond Road, said: “The children have really enjoyed taking time out of lessons to work on the bike with the help of Catcote School.

“It is a bit different for them but they have got a lot out of it.

“I knew that they have been restoring unwanted bikes for African children for a number of years now so we asked if we could help.

“The children have also been doing a project on Africa in lessons and we are hoping the bike project becomes a rolling programme. It would be great to help restore more bikes in the future.”

The Friends of Jesmond Road Primary School, which includes parents and teachers, has also donated footballs, skipping ropes and Kwik cricket sets and felt-tip pens to children in The Gambia.

The sports equipment was presented to Sue Taylor, from Pageant, a small British charity that supports pupils, schools and other educational establishments in the African country.

Year 5 children spent time at Catcote School Business and Enterprise College, in Catcote Road, in groups of three over the past few months.

Catcote pupils have repaired and restored old bikes for several years after setting up 1, 2, Free Bikes 4 Africa, with the help of national charity Jole Rider.

The not-for-profit company has donated dozens of bikes over the past three years with the help of Facchini’s Cycles & Scooter, in Murray Street, Hartlepool.

The bikes are taken to Chippenham, in Wiltshire, before being sent to The Gambia.