On the 18th March we announced we had to leave our workshop home of over 4 years, with just a weeks notice. We managed to remove our bikes and tools to secure storage.
We have been working behind the scenes to continue to offer a service to people in the Lichfield District and we can now announce we are resuming activity. Although without premises, we still have the commitment and skills of our volunteers and below we will explain our intentions, in three stages:
We will take requests or referrals for free long term loan bikes in the two categories listed above. We have managed to source five bikes recently for workers to get to their jobs in Fradley, after factories had banned lift shares between colleagues. This has prevented them needing to walk around 5 miles each way for their shifts.
We have always given free long term loan bikes to our beneficiaries where there is a health or well being factor involved. Cycling can be a fantastic form of exercise and great for improving mental health. (See examples in our 2017 to 2019 report). This we will continue to do.
Some of our volunteers are shielding or have been unwell and we recognise there are furloughed workers who might be able to increase our capacity temporarily and help us out:
Bike shop services are exempted from Government restrictions and our volunteers, acting as essential workers, will be able to collect, distribute and deliver donated and completed bikes, in line with Government guidelines.
If you have the time and skills to be able to work independently (with support by phone or video calls) we would really appreciate your time. We can supply the basic materials like cables, tyres and tubes etc but we are trying to source good quality donated bikes that need little work:
For a long time we have struggled to source large frame bikes for taller people of 6 feet tall and over. We would be happy to receive any size adult bike but the bigger the better! If you have a bike that you no longer need, we would be happy to collect, respecting physical distancing guidelines.
If we can get all of the things in place in steps 1(referrals or requests), 2 (volunteers) and 3 (bike donations) above, we know we can make a difference to people who are struggling at the moment. We have created a page on our website to give advice and guidance for those who are cycling for their daily exercise.