Trade-In is back for 2018 and there are many good reasons why it’s our favourite campaign: It’s springtime and everyone is getting back into the spirit of cycling, customers can save on a shiny new bike while decluttering their sheds or garages at the same time, and, best of all, each and every donated bike serves a good cause! Proud to be working with 18 social enterprises across the UK, here we put the spotlight on our different partner charities throughout the campaign. Next up, Networks of Wellbeing – Bike Shack…
Networks of Wellbeing’s (NoW) Cycling Connections – Bike Shack
NoW established 1992/3, The Bike Shack Project commenced 2011/12.
Your primary aim
Now’s Cycling Connections – Bike Shack is one of the projects run under our Big Lottery Funded ‘Care is the Community’ award. Our Cycling Connections project (which oversees the work of the Bike Shack) promotes an active life and exercise – proven to help in overall physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Covering primarily the AB54 area, NoW’s Bike Shack project is a non-profit making bike recycling initiative, staffed by 1 part time paid co-ordinator (trained to Gold Velotech standard in bike maintenance and a qualified cycle leader), supported volunteers and volunteers, and assisted (when possible) by another part-time member of staff who is qualified to silver Velotech standards.
A large part of the Bike Shack’s work is in the refurbishing of donated bikes and in bike servicing. We receive used bikes from a number of sources including donations by local residents, Aberdeenshire Council’s local recycling plant, and Police Scotland. Bikes are re-furbished and re-sold at affordable prices or stripped of parts – which we either use, or re-sell. (In the past year, we have sold around 250 bikes, with the proceeds being used to cover the costs of spare parts and equipment for use within the Bike Shack and Cycling Connections projects).
Additionally we have helped to support projects across Aberdeenshire and further afield through donating bikes to Schools; to the Rotary Bikes for Africa project; to the Syrian Refugee community in Inverurie; and in supporting a community based initiative in another part of Aberdeenshire.
Within the Cycling Connections project we offer led bike rides, bike maintenance classes and, in conjunction with The Big Bike Ride, work with employers in the town to encourage employees to use their bikes for day to day transport. We also visit local secondary Schools – providing work experience opportunities alongside group and 1-1 maintenance classes for both mainstream and supported learners. Additionally this year we will be visiting Aberdeenshire Primary Schools and providing bike-ability training, pre bike-ability bike checks and staff training.
Benefits gained from Evans Cycles Trade In
The main benefits will be both an increased awareness of our Cycling Connections and Bike Shack services and, through the support of Evans Cycles Trade In, an increase in the number, types and sizes of bikes available to us. Our sales have been increasing steadily over the past 3 years and the support we receive will enable us to generate greater financial support for the Bike Shack and a greater awareness of the opportunity for individuals to a) gain support on their recovery journey and b) to volunteer and increase their skills and knowledge base.
Future projects and ambitions
One of the main projects we would like to progress this summer is a collaboration with our local GP’s to encourage type 2 diabetes patients to “get off their medication and on to bikes”. This would involve patient referrals from the practice to ourselves and we would initially supply a bike and accompany those involved, initially to build self confidence. We are also looking at trialling some data collection of distance, time, speed, heart rate etc via one of the GPS based cycle computers. This would allow both the client and the GP to monitor progress.
Due to the growing demand in all areas of NoW’s work, the Cycling Connections and Bike Shack projects need to expand in terms of manpower, work space and, particularly, storage space. NoW is almost totally dependant on charitable support and one of our ambitions this year is to successfully gain grant support – which would allow us to guarantee the future of the Cycling Connections and Bike Shack projects for at least two years and allow us to move forward and develop more long term plans and projects.