NEWSLETTER JAN 2016
Hi to All Paddy Riders out there. My apologies for the gap in time since my last newsletter. It is perhaps just over a year. It`s not that information hasn’t being forthcoming. In fact it`s quite the opposite! Everyone can now see that their joined up approach in collecting bikes is making a real difference.
When you read through the latest edition of Rotary News compiled by my fellow Club Rotarian Dale, I cannot help feeling proud of the clubs which are now “hands on” with Jole Rider. It is very enlightening to hear of each club`s efforts with bike collections, and how very innovative they can be with other partners such as schools, bike shops, and supermarkets.
Jole Rider when it started for me was always about just about collecting bikes, and in turn moving them to Loughan House. But as many of you will know once lots of Rotarians got involved, off shoots and tangents began to happen in a very exciting way. It is really heart-warming to learn from Ciaran Mannion that Jole Rider is now being used in school Roteract clubs, as an international project. Rotarians of a “certain age” now have a project to talk about which strikes a chord with children, and young adults.
When I look back at Jole`s time line of events there is no doubt that the Irish Prison Service`s intervention with Loughan House was a game changer for us in Rotary Ireland. As the project has spread I have always wondered how could Rotary Ireland repay the Irish Prison Service for their valuable service. Well, now I think we can. We are planning to stage mock job interviews with prisoners working within the bike shed. This is a brilliant initiative hosted by District Chair of Vocation Maria McGilly.
I am sure that Maria would love to hear from those Rotarians who would like to get involved in this part of the project. Particularly those who have had a vocation in light engineering, or mechanical repair.
I am pleased to report that with the £10/12euro funds sent to District Treasurer Ivan we shipped 330 bikes to Jole Rider UK in Tetbury in October 2015. On board this container was Bike 1500 donated from Rotary Club of Newtownabbey. My own club of Lisburn supported A1 Transport to send this container. Funding for Jole Rider is in a healthy position and through practical help we should have funds to cover 2 container shipments from Loughan House over the next 6 months.
As Rotarians we really have been given a unique opportunity to serve and help children in both our own community, and abroad. Your sustained efforts over the last 5 years means that Rotary Ireland this will deliver bike 1750 in February and perhaps bike 2000 in June. This milestone is to be celebrated at the prison along with the 4th Paddy Rider run in Enniskillen. It should be a great day`s craic!
Some of club who have taken part in bike collections this Rotary year are:
Dungannon, Lisburn, Belfast West, Letterkenny, Limerick Shannon, Ballycastle, Newtownabbey, Portadown, Lurgan, Banbridge, Enniskillen, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Dun Laoghaire. Cookstown – valuable bike spares.
Apologies if I missed anyone. This group of clubs have collected over a container full of bikes (400) in the first half of this Rotary Year!!
Finally it is my intention at the end of this Rotary year to hand over the so called “bike chain of office” to a fellow Lisburn Rotarian…. Sam Patterson.
Sam has equal passion for Jole Rider, and he has the drive to steer the bike project into new roads of opportunity.
Yours in Rotary
PP Trevor Stewart.