Volunteer

The Bike Project workshop volunteers

Volunteering at the Workshop

Whether you fancy yourself as a bit of a workshop wizard or couldn't tell your crank arms from your bottom bracket – we offer everyone the opportunity to learn new skills and put them to good use in a relaxed, welcoming environment.

Sorry but we're currently completely full for new workshop volunteers! We expect to be able to welcome new volunteers in Autumn 2019.

Our brilliant workshop volunteers help fix bikes, but they also pitch in with everything else that needs to happen at The Bike Project on a Thursday night.

We might ask you to help register donations on the computer, sort out a snakes' honeymoon of inner tubes, or welcome our beneficiaries and match them with their new bike.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, then read on!

What we ask from you lovely people:
  • You are reliable and punctual. When it comes to getting refugees cycling, there's nothing fashionable in being late!
  • You can attend our workshop induction which takes place over two Thursday sessions, from 5 to 8pm. These are usually the last two weeks of each month.
  • You commit to volunteering at 5 Thursday sessions (or more) following your induction. Unlike slot machines, we make sure that the more you put in, the more you get out.
  • We love bikes, but first and foremost we’re a refugee charity. It kind of makes sense that volunteers should share our mission to get refugees cycling. (You'd be amazed how many people get here, look around, and say, 'You do what?!')
  • You enjoy learning and sharing your skills with other people. Our workshop sessions are a collaborative space and the more you learn, the more you can pass on to the next generation.

Newbie FAQs

  • Yes, I want to become a workshop volunteer - tell me how!
    Our workshop sessions are very popular and we can only take about 6 new volunteers a month. To make sure we're a good fit for each other, we ask you to fill out a short application form.

    We review all the forms and then invite successful applicants to attend a volunteers induction. This takes place at the workshop over two Thursday evenings - usually the last two Thursdays of the month.

    Once you’ve completed your induction you are 'workshop ready' and can book to volunteer at our Thursday sessions, 5pm – 8pm.

    We support refugees across London and beyond, but we’re based in Deptford and Denmark Hill. For this reason we particularly welcome volunteer applications from people who live in the boroughs of Lewisham and Southwark.
  • What? When? Where?
    We run volunteer workshop sessions every Thursday from 5-8pm at our Deptford Workshop.

    These sessions are also when we invite a number of refugees and asylum seekers to come and collect their bikes. We may have up to 30 appointments in one evening so it’s a busy time with lots of people.

    You can find us under Arches 223 - 224, Edward Street, London, SE8 5HD - don't miss the turning, just follow the railway line! There's a good map on our How to Find Us page.
  • I'm completely new to mechanics - can I still volunteer?
    Don't worry - our volunteering is for everybody. You don't even need to know how to ride a bike to help us fix bikes. You just need to enjoy fixing things and helping out.

    But before we can let you loose on the workshop, everybody needs to complete our snazzy Workshop Volunteer Induction.

    The induction comes in two parts over the course of two Thursday sessions, between 5-8pm.

    We don't expect you to be a pro mechanic after just two evenings, so we provide ongoing support at all our sessions.

Advanced FAQs

  • I've finished my induction, now what?
    Congratulations - you're workshop ready!

    You can now book to come along to our Thursday sessions as a fully-inducted volunteer. Just click here!

    POLITE ASK: It's takes time and effort to train workshop volunteers, so we'd really love you to commit to helping out at least 5 Thursday sessions following your induction.
  • Nooo - the session I want to attend is booked up!
    Gutted. Sadly, we have a limited number of volunteer slots for each Thursday session.

    If we’re full for the date you’re looking for, whack your name onto the waiting list and you’ll be notified if a slot comes up.

    FYI, you can book your sessions up to 6 weeks ahead, so get in there early!
  • I know quite a lot about fixing bikes - do I still need to attend an induction?
    At the first volunteer induction we'll be going over some important workshop information that everybody needs to know. So, yes, it's kind of crucial that you're there for that. But at that first session we can talk to you about your skills and see what's good for you.
  • Can I just attend part of the session?
    'Fraid not, buddy. Due to limited space and seemingly unlimited bike repairs, it's important to us that you stay for the whole session. Please try and find a date that you can attend in full.
  • Can I volunteer on other days of the week?
    We have a few spaces for volunteering during the week. However, these are for experienced volunteers who can work with minimal support.

    If you're a qualified bike mechanic or have worked repairing bikes before, then drop us a line, or have a chat with our Workshop Manager.

Extra Bonus FAQs

  • Do I need to bring anything?
    Nope. We provide all the tools and resources you need. But please wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, as well as sensible footwear. No one wants to drop a spanner on a sandal.
  • Do you provide any food?
    We have tea, coffee and water available at all times (mechanics don't work without caffeine) and usually some biscuits or fruit.

    You're very welcome to bring your own snacks and will go straight to the top of the volunteer leaderboard* if you share!

    *Note: there is no volunteer leaderboard. That'd be weird.
  • Is there parking available?
    We have bike racks for you to park your bike, but please bring your own lock. Our workshop is slotted under a railway arch so there's no parking outside the building, but there is some parking available in nearby streets.
  • Do you reimburse travel expenses?
    Yep! We can reimburse out of pocket travel expenses. Speak to the Workshop Manager and they'll sort you out.

Volunteering at the Office

We're looking for volunteers to help out at The Bike Project HQ. Our operation might look effortless from the outside, but behind the scenes there's so much beavering going on that we're considering a move to Canada.

You'll need to be available for:

1) Introduction and a volunteer training session

2) Volunteering at our Denmark Hill office on a weekday.

You'll need to be the kind of person who:

1) Enjoys learning new things

2) Works well as a part of a team

3) Has IT skills and admin experience

4) Has attention to detail

We can offer you:

The chance to be part of a small sociable team who are dedicated to providing bikes to refugees and asylum seekers to help with the cost of transport in London. You will also have the opportunity to improve your IT skills, gain valuable office experience and, of course, increase your bike knowledge!

So if you want to help out on a regular basis, please do get in touch – let's see how we can help each other.

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