Celebrating the value of volunteers

May be an image of one or more people, people standing, bicycle and outdoors

As a small charity with a vision for a cleaner, healthier, and more active Exeter, volunteers are key to Ride On’s success. 

People volunteer as bicycle mechanics, bike foragers to find bikes we can fix up and sell, rickshaw pilots to take elderly people out on rides and fund-raisers to help organise more social and fund-raising events.

Gaining practical and transferable skills, as well as work experience can prove invaluable in finding a job. Lending a hand and developing your existing skills and knowledge is incredibly rewarding and great fun!

To give you a taste of what volunteering at Ride On is really like we put the questions to volunteer, Anna Ross who is gaining lots of new skills.

What does your volunteering involve?

I’ve been working on bike mechanics and maintenance in the workshop.   I help to strip down donated bikes, some of which can be in very unloved states! We clean them up and work out how to refurbish them so they can be passed on, matched with new customers, and loved again.

I have also been writing a volunteer handbook for new volunteers and helping produce a volunteer development programme. 

What do you enjoy about volunteering at Ride On?

 I really enjoy seeing our bikes go to new homes and helping people find the right bike for their needs. I love the variety of everything you can get stuck into at Ride On, and the encouragement I’ve received to give things a go and get involved. 

I feel valued and confident that I can make a difference about something I am passionate about. At the start I simply liked the idea of learning a new skill with bike maintenance which I could use on my own bikes but having quickly got involved in so many other areas I am so excited to be able to promote Ride On further within Exeter and hopefully start new initiatives. 

What are your hopes for the future of Ride On?

​I’m excited to be able to pass on what I’ve learnt at Ride On to others, especially the chance to get more women, and anyone who doesn’t feel confident in a workshop or using tools, involved in bike mechanics. 

My goal now is to set up women’s bike maintenance sessions along with some other volunteers, to get more women into the workshop and empowered to learn these skills and fix their own bikes. 

We’d also like to promote Ride On as a cycling hub within Exeter, where anyone is welcome, whatever their cycling ability or background. I want to help spread the word about everything that goes on at Ride On, especially when we are back up and running fully. And ultimately get more people onto bikes and cycling regularly, not just in Exeter but around Devon. 

If you’re interested in volunteering at Ride On email [email protected] telling us the kind of volunteering you are interested in doing. We will then take it from there!

We love volunteers, so there are lots of opportunities to volunteer! You can give as much or as little time as you can spare.

Notes for Editors

Ride On – Cycling for All

Ride On is Exeter’s hub for all things bike related. If you need a bike call us on 07544 14749 to make an appointment and come and look at our refurbished bikes for sale.

We also provide bicycle maintenance courses and Ready to Ride sessions for key workers, including basic bike maintenance and set up. 

Due to Coronavirus the weekly Bring Your Own Bike DIY maintenance sessions are not running, but Ride On’s Fix it at Home initiative consists of some useful and informative videos, especially for gear indexing and brake adjustment issues. See the website for details www.rideoncycling.org 

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Twitter @RideOnExeter

Instagram @RideOnExeter

Registered charity: 1174055

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