TRCH Full Monty

Get on Yer Bike with Nottingham Bikeworks

7 December 18 words: Gemma Fenyn

This month saw the launch of the Nottingham Bikeworks Month of Giving, a drive that promises every cycle purchased through the organisation in December is matched with a donation to the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum.

 

Nottingham Bikeworks has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the garage of founder Tom Barber. Tom is a bloke who had a vision of setting up a not for profit that would not only get us Notts folk riding, but could support people and get them involved in the community. Now days, you can find the team at Ayr Street Workshops by the Arboretum, where they took a council owned Victorian Mill in a poor state of repair and, with the support of organisations such as Raleigh, completely renovated it into the welcoming space it is today.  

Reflecting on the indulgence and excess of the season, Project Coordinator Lily Beaven tells us how the current campaign encourages sustainable gifting; “By buying a bike from us, people can not only save two bikes from the landfill, they also get the opportunity to give a bike to someone who really needs it and spread the joy that we think biking brings people!”   

The bikes will be given away in January at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum and will be allocated those most in need, with priorities given to families. The two organisations have been working together for a few years now carrying out the Build a Bike project, a scheme that teaches groups how to build a bike from scratch and provides bike tools as well as safety gear. “We also finish these courses with a certificate and a group training ride”, Lily says, “to ensure everyone is safe on the road and give everyone the opportunity to get out and explore Nottingham by bike together.”

There really is no end to the work that this team carry out, and, with the recent addition of an new building dubbed The Bikery last year, they have been able to expand their activities even further. Services currently include a wellbeing project, accredited courses, alternative education provision and cycle maintenance classes - You can even catch them out and about in the City delivering free Dr Bike safety checks, or, how about having a word with your boss and getting Dr Bike to pay you a visit? You can even hire their range of Crazy Bikes for a works do that’s wheelie different!

But what really strikes a chord about Nottingham Bikeworks is that they have been able to take what they are truly passionate about and turn it into something bigger that engages the community and allows individuals to be a part of something; whether that’s refugees who find themselves in a strange new city, or a young person leaving care and taking their first steps into the working world, or a kid taking part in Scraper Bikes- rebuilding and spraying their own wheels from scratch... I don’t know about you, but just thinking about the impact these lot have on our little Hoodtown has got me in the festive spirit!     

To buy or donate a bike, bung ‘em a few quid or even find out about how you can get involved, visit their website. 

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