by Colin Crooks
On Thursday afternoon I start my annual cycling odyssey. Although I’m not climbing as much as last years madness I will be travelling a very long way! This year I plan to ride with a marvellous group of around 25 people more than 350 miles from the New Forest across to the Isle of Wight and round to Canterbury via Brighton. From Canterbury I will ride back into London. I’m looking forward to it although my training has been hampered by the terrible weather. This year I’m riding for two great causes. One is a UK charity that helps prisoners find new skills and to be creative. Called Fine Cell Work they have a very creative and imaginative, sterotype-breaking approach to prisoners welfare and equipping them with skills for when they are released. Prisoners in the UK spend far too long cooped up in their cell. They are cleary very limited in what they can do. Fine Cell Work trains male prisoners in embroidery and needlework. Their products are extremely good quality and are sold and exhibited across the UK. This is a really creative social enterprise breaking barriers and doing business. Whatever aches I suffer I will be acutely aware that I’m free and in the fresh air. My second charity this year is Afghan Aid which has been working in Afghani communities for more than 3 decades. They really know the country and its people and they enable them to help themselves in all sorts of ways. Both these charities appeal to the core of my approach to social enterprise: they help others help themselves……….
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