Donated bikes are revamped in workshops in Winton, Sherborne and Shaftesbury and then sold to the general public providing a source of affordable bikes locally. The majority of volunteers have mental health issues and the project provides an opportunity to learn new skills in a supportive environment. The grant contributed towards the part-time salary of a support worker.
What were your steps to success?
- As we are running a social enterprise and trying to make this self-sustainable it is important to make sure that we are open as much as possible to receive donated bikes and to make sales – we were lucky to have a support worker who was also knowledgeable about bike maintenance!
- Some of our premises are owned by the same landlord which made arranging rental agreements easier – make sure all rental agreements or lease arrangements are in place as a funder may ask for this information.
- Health and Safety training is important especially for our volunteers in the workshops – we were able to use low cost or free of charge training available through the NHS and Yeovil College.
- Our trustees have provided invaluable support – especially around fundraising.
What learning would you like to pass on…
- We had received a five-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund which had just come to an end at the time we received the funding from the DCCF. We had to look at different ways to save money and to make our projects as self-sustaining as possible and this takes time to put in place.
- We cover the rural area around Shaftesbury and volunteers can be limited due to infrequent public transport which affects their availability. It is not now possible for our support workers to pick them up due to safeguarding policies.
- We understand now the costs involved in setting up a social enterprise – make sure when you are applying for funding that you have realistically budgeted for the first two years as there are many costs planned or otherwise!
‘With the help of your money, this has enabled us to feel more positive about the future!’
We have taken on more volunteers and have been able to access a small amount of additional funding.