The group, based in Kent, provide opportunities for local residents on low incomes to volunteer and learn new skills, as well as providing services at below market cost.
The group were in the early stages of setting up a bike recycle project so attended our Recycle Cycles course for some guidance.
They wanted to run a project that repaired bikes donated by local residents, which they can then sell for an affordable price to those that could not afford to buy brand new. The group originally had an aim to sell at least 10 recycled bikes.
They successfully applied for a grant of £300 to buy a tool kit, bike frame, and some publicity for their project.
The project really took off in 2014 and the group have been very busy, they now have their own premises and have received nearly £40,000 in additional funding. Additional funding has been received from Awards for All, UK Online and the European Social Fund.
Over the year the group have recycled in excess of 320 bikes, smashing their original target of 10, this has helped them to raise £4,000 in unreserved funding.
The group are now a registered charity and company, there are regular volunteers that deliver in excess of 100 hours per week, they have a paid part time member of staff, and are currently looking to take on a one-year apprentice to become a bicycle mechanic. They continue to work with local employment agencies; The Princes Trust and Jobcentre Plus, to offer work experience and volunteering opportunities to younger people who are long term unemployed.
As they continue to grow the group are planning to extend the project outside of their current regional boundaries and are involved in the start-up of a local business academy which will see them develop an apprenticeship programme.
“The idea wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without the training course and you were our first funder with the small grant you made available to us” – Chris Murray, Create the Way