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Pop Up Bike Mechanics

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Pop-up mechanics training programme is a series of workshops that gives young people the opportunity to learn cycle maintenance as well as receive customer service training. Graduates of the cycle maintenance programme can have the opportunity to continue working for the project, or other organisations, as mobile cycle mechanics.  
 
Once trained, mobile mechanics cycle to the home or location of the client and repair bicycles for them at a designated time chosen by the customer. This can be organised through the project’s website, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. The project can also run a monthly pop-up mechanic shop for cyclists to stop by and have their bikes repaired for free.  
 
The project pays a mechanic training organisation to facilitate the mechanic training element of the course and to ensure the best possible skills development. In addition to the cycle maintenance skills, the participants also have the opportunity to practice digital marketing/social media marketing skills.  
 
This project can be offered in any area of London and can target other at-risk groups such as near NEETs, or those with siblings who are offenders. This could have a larger impact by linking up local mechanics with social services and youth centres to provide training sessions. This approach could operate across multiple or all London boroughs.

The project hopes to inspire other local young people to engage with the project, or other skills training, when they see their peers benefiting from learning and the opportunity for paid work.

 

Target audience and engagement

 

  • Young people from deprived areas, young offenders and those at-risk of offending


Reach

 

  • Small to Medium (20 - 40 participants)
  • Geographically - anywhere

 

Equipment needed

 

  • For workshops and pop ups
    - Toolkits for students on course
    - Setup tools and equipment
  • Other
    - Advertising materials (posters and flyers)
    - Access to laptops and smartphones
    - Social media or website skills

 

Resources needed

 

  • Staff
    - Project leader
    - Form relationships with other community organisations
    - Oversee project
    - Recruit participants
    - Ensure continued attendance from participants
    - Attend and help at all workshops
    - Ensure all funding criteria and documentation is met
    - Pop up shop facilitators x 2 (Lead and Assistant)
  • To support pop-up shops
    - Once a participant qualifies as a Level 2 qualified cycle mechanic or higher, they can take over as pop-up shops lead facilitator in years 2 and 3
    - Photographer for sessions to create promotional material
    - Workshop trainer
    (Vender Trainers worked with Cycle Confident to train the program participants)
  • Other
    - Storage space
    - Somewhere to store bikes and tools in between workshops and pop-up mechanics (local councils may give advice on where to store bikes or they could provide space). A well-secured shipping container can be a good option for bike storage, and for running training out of
    - Workshop location
    - Pop up mechanic location
    - Advertising materials
    - Online advertising via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

 

Estimated project costs

 

  • Workshop lead facilitator (for this project the project lead can be upskilled up to become a lead facilitator in years 2 and 3, reducing costs)    £,2500
  • Workshop assistant facilitator    £500
  • Training delivery (mechanic and website building)    £800
  • Set up tools and equipment    £900
  • DBS checks (if needed)    £130 - £200
  • Public liability insurance    £170

 

Top tips/key learnings

 

  • Benefit from existing staff’s experience. The Project Lead on the original version of this project was able to reduce workshop costs significantly by using their mechanic skills to act as lead facilitator. Publicity and promotion are essential to the success of the pop-ups service. Use social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to advertise the pop-ups.
  • Projects do evolve over time and things don’t always go as planned. Therefore, do not worry too much when they do
  • Take advantage of the training programme that is offered by Walking and Cycling Grants London

 

Maximising local contacts

 

  • Talk to local community organisations and centres to find locations where you can either have the workshops and pop-up mechanics for free, or store bikes
  • Engage your local police who may be able to provide unclaimed stolen bikes for you to work on.  Do not source these online, for example via eBay or Gumtree, unless you can be sure that they are not stolen
  • Engage with existing community networks to recruit participants for the workshop
  • Engage your bike maintenance skills provider, who can give you tips for when running your own sessions

 

This project idea was provided by Venders MechanicsFacebook - Twitter - Instagram

 

If you decide to run your own version of this project in your community, please email us at wcgl@groundwork.org.uk. We love to hear that we are inspiring people to walk and cycle.

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