31 Aug 2011

Gloucestershire Bike Project: volunteers, newbies and bikes wanted

I recently have heard about the Gloucestershire Bike Project which was set up earlier this year. I thought I'd give them a quick plug here. They have two aims: helping people from all walks of life get on two (affordable)wheels, and reducing unnecessary waste - healthier people and healthier environment.

They run workshops teaching people the skills needed to repair and maintain their own bikes and those of family and friends. They are a social enterprise, completely run by volunteers and rely on bikes donated by the public and the time given by their volunteers, who they train. Those that go on their courses can work on and keep one of the bikes or can choose to work on a bike of their own.

The project are currently looking for volunteers with a little time to give and who are interested in any aspect of the project. They also need bikes. Without the generosity of local people this project would never have come into being, and couldn't survive. Bikes which they can't use are carefully stripped and recycled safely and as cleanly as possible.

The course tutor is trained to Cytech L3, and can train others to Cytech L2, both nationally recognised vocational qualifications. Not that that means much to me! The project runs workshops with people from many backrounds including the long term un-employed, people with mental health difficulties, people on probation or recovering from addictions. They also have a dedicated young people's group where children and young people learn bike safety and repair, working alongside their parents.
They are trying to broaden the scope of the project and make it accessible to people right across the Gloucestershire area.

They are hoping to set up new groups in the Autumn and anyone interested in learning to maintain their own bike can contact them. The courses usually run for 4 - 6 weeks, but wthey also do one day
workshops if people just want to learn the basics. The courses and workshops are very reasonably priced and include the bike and parts. They do run some courses for free, but have to charge for
some to keep the project going. They can also bring the workshop to a site of your choosing, or arrange for groups to come to their workshop.

Contact them Maureen or Matt on 01453 7500 45 / 07858 416220.

Lastly some might be interested in the Back2Bike project - I edited a video earlier this year - see here:

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