REFURBISHED BIKES FOR YOUR BRAND NEW JOURNEY
THE JOURNEY SO FAR...
Big Loop Bikes is our bike refurbishment social enterprise. We set it up in 2017, based on an idea that students at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and students in Hydebank Secure College came up with, and with financial and practical support from the Big Lottery, QUB and the Prison Service.
So far, Big Loop Bikes has operated in a workshop within Hydebank College, using staff and community volunteers to teach students skills in bike repair and management.
The bikes we have refurbished and sold are donated to us by individuals, by the Police Service, and by universities, or are diverted by us from landfill sites. Once refurbished and signed off by qualified bike mechanics, we have been selling them at pop up shops in the community.
But the time has come for us to extend Big Loop Bikes beyond Hydebank College and into the community…
OUR NEXT STAGE...
We have always had a big ambition that Big Loop Bikes would grow into a movement of people, with different backgrounds, who enjoy bikes – riding them, fixing and recycling them, selling them and encouraging others to use them – and who enjoy spending time with other people.
So the next stage of the Big Loop journey is to extend beyond our workshop in Hydebank College and into the community.
We'll still operate a workshop within Hydebank College, but a community-based workshop would allow us to provide Turnaround’s transitional support model in which people working with us before release could continue to work with us afterwards, providing a framework of engagement and support as they transition out of custody.
It would also allow us to provide opportunities for people serving sentences in the community, and for many more community volunteers to work alongside them.
New relationships, new skills, a sense of purpose and a shift in identity are all important in helping people to turn around their futures. A Big Loop Bikes community workshop will provide the space for our movement – and its members – to grow.
We are also working with two local universities and a further education college to develop new services to Belfast’s third level student community.
BIG LOOP MOVEMENT...
Would you like to play a part in building this movement?
We are looking for volunteers to help us develop and run an expanded social enterprise, and the wider Big Loop movement.
We need people who will help to collect bikes, strip them down and rebuild them.
There will also be with opportunities in marketing, sales, administration and book-keeping. We plan to run Big Loop Bike events, and create a community space where you and everyone else, regardless of their background, will feel welcome and involved. So whatever your interests or skills, we’ll find a role for you!
You might also be able to help us find and fit out suitable premises in or near Belfast city centre for our community workshop.
But above all, we are looking for people who want to share new journeys with people who have been through the justice system.
Click here to get in touch with us and discuss how you could get involved in the Big Loop Movement.