New van an ‘epic’ tool for charity

With the van donated to Up-Cycles are (from left) Up-Cycles trustee and safeguarding officer Lisa...
With the van donated to Up-Cycles are (from left) Up-Cycles trustee and safeguarding officer Lisa Foggin, Up-Cycles founder and managing director Chris Foggin, Rothbury Insurance Brokers Southern Lakes branch manager senior commercial broker Jason Bodmin, Hugo Trust chief executive and trustee Aoibheann Monaghan and Central Otago Motor Group general manager Scott Billman. PHOTO SUPPLIED
A charity aiming to get Central Otago people on their bikes has been given a van to help it expand its work.

Up-Cycles founder and managing director Chris Foggin said they had been using a van he had donated to the charity but it had had its day.

At 24 years old it was becoming too expensive to run and was too small for the expanding work of Up-Cycles.

More cargo space was needed to carry bikes and parts and the gear needed for the increasing education work the charity was doing, Mr Foggin said.

He appealed to the community for help.

Now Up-Cycles has a new Hyundai van thanks to donations from sponsors Rothbury Insurance Brokers, the Hugo Trust and Central Otago Motor Group.

It was difficult to express in words the gratitude he felt for the donation, Mr Foggin said.

"We will now be able to travel further at a more economic rate, carry more bikes and equipment, and this will also be a launch pad to enable future education programmes we want to deliver in our community.

"It’s just epic for our charity and the people who have made this happen are helping to make a huge difference in our communities."

The Hugo Trust was set up in memory of Hugh Green, an Irish immigrant who believed education was the way out of poverty.

In the year to the end of March the Hugo Trust gave away more than $1.5million including $10,000 to Alexandra Fire Brigade, $42,500 to the Cancer Society- Otago and Southland and $15,000 to Riding for the Disabled Central Otago.

Up-Cycles repairs, recycles and upcycles bikes and donates them to those who need but cannot afford them.

Mr Foggin, from the United Kingdom, began working with disadvantaged city children there, taking them cycling in the countryside which often meant supplying bikes and helmets.

In New Zealand he was approached to create a bike for children with special needs at the school where his wife, Up-Cycles trustee and safeguarding officer Lisa Foggin, works.

Aware of the difference having transport can make to someone wanting to work, needing to get children to school or wanting to be involved in recreation, he began Up-Cycles to fill those needs.