Spotlight on Cycle Station
Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Lynn Vass and Cycle Station. Read and share their Q&A interview below! Get in contact with Lynn on firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? We are dedicated to helping people overcome barriers around cycling and active travel, whether it be improving confidence, accessibility, affordability or physical ability.
How do you do it? (Client group, practical daily work, customers) We use donated and locally sourced bikes destined for landfill to train and educate local community groups and individuals in bike mechanics before donating or selling the refurbished bikes back into the heart of communities. We also offer bike hire at affordable prices and participate in events like fun days, galas and corporate team building events.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? Being able to engage with a wide range of people from vastly different backgrounds. Best of all though is hearing the stories of the people we work with, and knowing we could have a positive impact on that group or individual’s life.
What are your current projects? We are currently waiting to hear back on some funding for a mobile workshop, to allow us to go to rural communities and train them in basic bike mechanics. Our workshop is back in full swing after a move of premises and we are working with Whitelee Countryside Rangers to get some new routes signposted!
What exciting things do you have coming up? We have several events lined up as part of Cycling UK’s ‘the Big Bike Revival’, including a staff day at The University of West Scotland and the Scottish Power Family Fun Day at Whitelee Windfarm. We have also just had planning permission approved for an expansion to our bike hire facility at the windfarm which allows us to provide more bikes as well as introducing extended opening hours!
Who do you want to work with more?
We are focusing on the year of young people and are currently following a number of exciting leads to work with a variety of young people from summer work experience, through to school leavers looking to gain employability skills.
What’s your biggest challenge? We have discovered the large amount of space storing bikes, tools and equipment can take and it’s something we have been really struggling with from day one! The move to our new premises has really helped us and has demonstrated how quickly we have grown within our first six months of trading.
What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
It’s all about the people. We couldn’t do anything without our volunteers, partners and stakeholders. We do a regular evaluation of what we have achieved and where we are going with our volunteers, groups, customers and stakeholders. These groups will provide some fresh perspectives on what you’re doing well and not so well! Networking is essential! Spend the time with people who are interested in your work and who can add value to what you’re already doing. Finally, take ownership, stay positive and believe in your ideas!