Airmen put pedal power to use

Sergeant Jon Smith of RAF Leeming Movements Team poses with one of the donated bicycles with a Hawk jet in the background. (S)
Sergeant Jon Smith of RAF Leeming Movements Team poses with one of the donated bicycles with a Hawk jet in the background. (S)

RE-CYCLING at RAF Leeming has taken on an international flavour this year, as airmen from the unit’s Mobility Team aim to collect old bicycles to send to an African Child Care Centre for re-use.

Donated bicycles will be sent to the Kajaido Child Care Centre in Nairobi which cares for children with physical disabilities and provides a treatment programme that enables them to be rehabilitated, allowing them access to mainstream schooling.

Sergeant Jon Smith, a Logistics Movements Controller at RAF Leeming is spearheading the unit’s campaign for old bicycles.

Jon said: “Our aim is to collect donated bikes from the unit and from neighbouring towns so that we can send them to this school.

“What the Kajaido Centre then does is amazing, they turn the bikes into wheelchairs and mobility aids for the children at the facility.”

The RAF Air Movements Trade has helped the centre in many ways for almost 20 years.

Personnel from RAF Leeming will be in Northallerton town centre, alongside Northallerton Mayor Councillor John Coulson on February 15 to collect bicycles from the public, and also in Bedale on two market days in March.

Jon said: ‘We do hope that our local community can join with us and donate old bikes or disability aids. We will be publishing dates shortly as to when we will be in town to collect them. Sadly we will not be able to collect from individuals homes.”

The project is running until the end of March to enable items to be gathered and packed for shipping but Jon hopes to hold another collection later in the year.

l For more information, telephone Jon on 01677 457212 or Mr Tim Reid on 01677 457069.