A WILSDEN man has retired after a 62-year career that saw him support vulnerable people for many years including starting a charity to help prison inmates.

David Brown set up the Margaret Carey Foundation to give vital mechanical skills to prison inmates and other vulnerable people by fixing bikes.

Although he set up the MCF in 2008 he had worked with prisoners for the previous 11 years and with West Yorkshire Probation Service for three decades before that.

On July 31, 77-year-old David retires from MCF, which works with 10 prisons and two young offenders’ institutes - including HMP Lindholme and HMP Hatfield in Doncaster

The charity runs workshops from its hub in Bradford city centre, operates the MCF ‘bikery’ shop in Shipley and runs mechanical courses from Buchan Towers in Little Horton. 

David began his working life the age of 15 as a machine minder in the A & S Henry mill in Bradford. He left school on the Friday and was in the mill on the Monday morning. 

On his 16th birthday, he joined the merchant navy, and spent two years circumnavigating the globe, visiting the USA, Australia, India, Chile, and New Zealand.

After returning to the UK, he met his future wife Susan, and they moved to Oxford where David pursued a diploma in social service at Ruskin College.

Looking to further education, David ended up back in his hometown of Bradford because he felt Bradford University had the best applied social studies degree for him.

In 1971 David joined the West Yorkshire Probation Service, where he worked across the county and rose to the position of Senior Probation Officer before leaving to work with the Inside Out Trust in 1997.

David was regional coordinator when the Inside Out Trust came to an end, and because he wanted to continue working for people who had found themselves in difficult circumstances, he built on the organisation’s work by forming the Margaret Carey Foundation in 2008.

David said: “I am passionate about criminal justice.

“When I moved into the charity side, it was a different sort of job to the probation service, but I wanted to do my bit to help people who have ended up in a difficult place.”