Bike Buddies

Bike Buddies matches our refugee cyclists with a buddy in their local area to help them build confidence using their bike. If you love cycling and would like to share your knowledge of local short-cuts, safer routes and nice green spaces, then we need you!

How does it work?

As a buddy, you'll be matched with a refugee cyclist and go cycling together! The main aim is to build confidence and knowledge of cycling, reduce isolation, improve well-being and encourage social integration and greater independence.

Depending on what you and your buddy want and need, your rides could:

  • practise cycling skills
  • take a tour of the local area on your favourite quiet routes, secret short cuts and safe cycle paths
  • show them local services, particularly low-cost or free facilities like a library, gallery, post office or leisure centre
  • cycle to your buddy's appointment or help them with a task such as opening a bank account
  • be for the sheer joy of cycling!

We ask for you to commit to cycling with your refugee buddy at least 3 times. However, you're welcome (and encouraged!) to meet up more frequently than this and for as long as like. As a Volunteer Buddy, you're also very welcome to match with more than one refugee buddy at a time. Fun times!

Am I eligible to apply?

You are welcome to apply to become a buddy if you tick each of these criteria:

  • You're 18 or over
  • You've got your own bike (or can borrow one)
  • You're a competent on-road cyclist
  • You’re willing to complete a DBS check as part of the recruitment process
  • You've got good knowledge of your local area

Please note, this is a pilot scheme and we’re starting with a limited intake. We’re very grateful to those who want to volunteer with us. However, we need to ensure we have a spread of volunteers across London, so we won’t be able to invite all those who apply to join us for a volunteer’s induction session. If you've got any other questions, check our FAQs at the bottom of this page, or contact leila@thebikeproject.co.uk

Fill in the form

If you fit the criteria, simply fill out the form below to apply to be a Bike Buddy

We will be in touch!

Successful candidates will be invited to attend a training day at our south London workshop.

We will match you with a refugee

Subject to a DBS check, we'll set you up as a Bike Buddy and you can get cycling!

FAQs
I want to be a volunteer Bike Buddy, but...
  • I am under 18
    As volunteers will be working one-to-one with vulnerable adults, all participants must be 18 or older. Sorry!
  • I live on the outskirts of London
    Refugees can be housed all over London, so it is in our interest to have volunteers spread as far and wide as possible. You may, however, still need to be willing to travel a small distance to reach your nearest buddy.
  • I don’t have a bike
    Sorry! All Bike Buddies need to have access to their own bike. The Bike Project can't give bikes to anyone who is not a refugee or asylum seeker.
  • I work late or erratic hours
    No problem. Refugees don't always have a typical 9am-5pm schedule either. Equally, you don't have to meet up at the same time every week/fortnight. You'll probably be able to hammer out a good meeting time between the two of you.
  • I can't attend the training session
    Sorry! All Bike Buddies have to complete our two hour training session. These are currently held on a Saturday or Sunday in the SE5 area, althought this may be subject to change. Please don't apply if you're unable to take part.
  • I only want a buddy of the same gender as me
    No problem! You can specify this when you sign-up on our Bike Buddies App.
  • I don’t have a smartphone
    Again, no problem! Our Bike Buddies App, where you will be matched with and chat to your buddy, can be used through any web browser.