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Kids sending bikes to Africa.

Byline: Iain Laing

ONE hundred and one secondhand bikes have been given a pink revamp for needy African children thanks to Newcastle architectural firm _space group and the artistic flair of a special educational needs school in the North East.

Six pupils from Catcote School Business and Enterprise College in Hartlepool flew down to Chippenham, Wiltshire, to the jole (pronounced jolly) rider charity headquarters. It specialises in education and helping to get African children to school by bike.

Catcote pupils stamped the bikes in _space group's corporate pink logo and helped load them into a shipping container before waving them off to their new home at a Gambian school.

The pupils set up bike reconditioning company - 1. 2. Free Bikes 4 Africa -as part of the Young Enterprise North East (YENE) Team Programme.

Now in the second and final year of the programme, they have now completed the last stage of their project. 1. 2. Free Bikes 4 Africa were offered financial support after being spotted by _space group chief executive Rob Charlton at a YENE trade fair at Gateshead's Metrocentre.

_space group chief executive Rob Charlton said: "The pupils of 1. 2. Free Bikes 4 Africa have thought up a genius idea.

"Instead of these bikes being thrown away, they have been restored to a high quality and will be given to a very worthy cause.

"I'm delighted that our '_space pink' has found its way over to Africa."

Catcote School Business and Enterprise College teacher Barry Currell said: "I am immensely proud of the children.

The past two years has proven their dedication to their project and what better way to celebrate the finishing of the programme than to wave off the bikes.

"The support _space group has given 1. 2. Free Bikes 4 Africa has been great and we wouldn't have got here today without it."

The school will be tracking the bikes as they make their journey to their new home, via a website set up by _space group.

CAPTION(S):

HELPING HANDS Terence Elener, 17, gets to grips with one of the 101 bikes
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 7, 2010
Words:349
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