When the Bike Hub opened in September 2019, even the most optimistic couldn’t have hoped for the amazing results it has achieved in the first twelve months of operation.
Born from the volunteer organisation, Footscray Bike Shed, the Bike Hub also operates as a service and repair business which employs three bike mechanics and runs Monday to Friday. When not working on repairs and services, the team recycle and repair donated bikes some of which are sold, others donated.
Funds from the service and sale of bikes then support the running of the program.
In the past year, the Bike Hub has hit some big targets – 200 members, 280 bike sales but most importantly, 386 bikes donated to those in need (note, this was 280 for the first 6 months of operation, with lockdown restricting numbers to 106 in recent months).
Agencies involved in the program include ASRC, MiCare, CoHealth and West Welcome Wagon with recipients from countries such as Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tibet, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and, of course, Australia.
A couple of the bike recipients have been so impressed with the program, they’re now giving back and have become regular volunteers, learning to repair and recycle bikes.
Fortunately support from Brimbank Council has seen the hub inundated with donated bikes but unfortunately the recent challenge of coronavirus has put the volunteer program on hold – all at a time when bikes are in high demand.
For the now the team continue to keep bike riders on the roads with bike maintenance, servicing and repairs but are looking forward to restrictions easing and the volunteer program recommencing all day on Saturdays and Monday evenings.