Community Bike Workshop

by Kath Cochrane in Witney, England, United Kingdom

Community Bike Workshop
We did it
On 18th September 2018 we successfully raised £3,100 with 66 supporters in 35 days

Training volunteers from all walks of life to gain skills and confidence through rescuing and refurbishing abandoned bikes.

by Kath Cochrane in Witney, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Our stretch target will enable us to:

  • renovate and secure the outside shed at the premises
  • buy an environmentally friendly parts washer so we get more life out of our second hand parts
  • buy a till system so we spend less time drowning in paperwork and more time fixing bikes
  • make a small contribution to our first years rent.

The Windrush Bike Project

In March 2017 we (an ex teacher, an ex-charity worker, a carpenter and 2 engineers) raised funds and bought an old horse box, a basic set of bike maintenance tools, folding tables and a tent.  Cogges Farm in Witney kindly allowed us to set up in one of their fields.  

With the help of trained mechanics, volunteers refurbish donated bikes which are either given to someone who needs one or sold to keep the workshop running.  In our first year we:

  • worked with vulnerable people providing a friendly and safe space to learn skills and socialise in a working environment;
  • delivered 4 Build-a-Bike courses for disadvantaged young people;
  • engaged with over 160 men and 100 women helping them to fix their bikes or providing a recycled bike for sale;
  • clocked over 780 hours of volunteer time recycling old bikes;
  • saved over 400kg of bikes from being scrapped since January 2018;
  • taken in 120 bikes and refurbished 105;
  • given away 13 bikes to school children from low income families;
  • trained over 566 children from primary and secondary schools to ride safely and confidently on todays roads.

Quotes from project users:

“The bike project has allowed me to work with all kinds of bikes, given me the opportunity to practice in a real life situation and helped me to gain more confidence in my skills and abilities whilst allowing me to meet some amazing people” Youth Volunteer

‘It benefits my own mental well-being. Working with my hands is important, psychologically, to me and helps, somehow, to make some of my other stress easier. It is work, but without being like work. I have seen people so grateful for what seems a simple task to me, it is very rewarding. I get to learn from the other mechanics, I get to share my experience. It is a lovely inclusive, good natured undertaking’.

‘Friendliness and welcome, grace and patience! Knowledge and skill. Continued support for families with little finance’. Quote from Syrian Refugee living in Witney.

It soon become clear that the horse box and then small shed we used at Cogges were not big enough. After a long search we found the perfect location for the project - a flexible industrial unit, accessible on public transport, with enough space for multiple work stations and bike storage. 

Moving into this space will not only enable us to better cater for our more vulnerable clients; we will be able to be open longer hours, run events, courses and provide services that will help to make us financially sustainable in the longer term (bike repair, bike maintenance courses, corporate days, Duke of Edinburgh skills training).

Why are we Crowdfunding?

We need your help with the costs of moving and setting up our new workshop at 152b Corn Street.  This includes: making sure the electrics are safe, setting up phone lines and internet, making the building accessible, painting and furnishing and buying work stations, and, most importantly, lots of exciting bike maintenance tools enabling us to do a better job (the wheel building jig is the most eagerly awaited).  We also need to keep our band of amazing volunteers fed and watered throughout the process.

What do we need?

Workshop tools and equipment  - £1,000

Moving costs - £250

Electrics and heating - £885

Admin and communications set up - £365

Contribution to rent - £500

TOTAL - £3,000

Our rewards

Inner tube tool kit

We are passionate about keeping bikes on the road for as long as possible and reducing waste when repairing them.  Tyres and inner tubes are the hardest bike parts to recycle, so Will (who has a solution to every problem) came up with these.  Only five in the world so far and you can bag yourself one if you pledge £50. 

Inner tube tool kit

Windrush Bike Project cycling caps 

A must have for autumn 2018 - keeps the sun out of your eyes and tells the world about your favourite bike project!

Time in the workshop

Two heads are always better than one.  We have a range of rewards that will help you to get to know your bike and how to keep it on the road. 

Cycle training

Whatever your age, if you are just learning to cycle or want to gain confidence - time with a trained cycle instructor can really make the difference.  Bag yourself an hour with this great reward!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Pledge £20 - WBP Cycling Cap

Limited edition Windrush Bike Project cycling cap.

£10 or more

Pledge £10 - Your name on our wall

Your name will be added to our wall of supporters in the new workshop.

£20 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Pledge £20 - WBP Cycling Cap

A lovely cycling cap with our distinctive logo

£50 or more

4 of 5 claimed

Pledge £50 - WBP tool kit

Exclusive hand made toolkit made from Windrush Bike Project inner tubes. Includes puncture repair kit, pump and basic tools.

£50 or more

6 of 15 claimed

Pledge £50 - bike service

Give your bike a treat and get a bike service from one of our fully qualified mechanics. You just pay for any new parts needed.

£60 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Pledge £60 - 1:1 cycling lesson

One of our fully accredited instructors will spend an hour with you either learning to ride, building confidence or planning routes.

£60 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Pledge £60 - one hour bike maintenance

One hour with you, your bike and a mechanic. A bespoke lesson in our new workshop.

£100 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Pledge £100 - use of workshop for the year

Free entry to the workshop for a year. Come and use our stands and tools to fix your own bike whilst benefiting from the friendly and expert advice on hand.

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