Our volunteers: the hall of fame
We’ve been able to spruce up hundreds of bikes and help loads of people since we began. And these amazing volunteers have helped us do it.
Will is an online marketing expert from an agency called Platypus Digital. Like many of our volunteers, he approached us offering his skills rather than the other way round. He helped us secure a Google grant worth $10k per month in in-kind support and has managed our online marketing ever since. His work has directly contributed tens of thousands of pounds in the form of donations and bike sales not to mention a whole host of other benefits. He does speak mainly in three letter acronyms (PPC, SEO, ROI) but whatever he does it seems to work!
Eva is a volunteer who helped set up and run the women’s cycling project. Come rain or shine (the weather is a big deal when running an outdoor project) she is there week in, week out helping refugee women learn to cycle. She has been helping for the past two years which is an incredible amount of time for a volunteer to commit.
Paul is yet another tech guru and Salesforce consultant. When he first came to us, he told us that Salesforce would revolutionise what we do and, to our surprise, he was right. Our ability to manage our stock of bikes, communicate with refugees, and monitor our impact has been completely transformed. Many many more refugees benefit as a result of his work.
Ella wrote our first major impact report: a 15 page in-depth analysis of everything we have done. She spent many hours calling the refugees, collecting the data, and writing it up. And yes she does have a full-time job and a variety of other charitable commitments. It is truly spectacular and we will be featuring it in our next newsletter.
Andrew is a trustee of two charities and mentors a whopping six charity CEOs (no that isn’t a typo: he really mentors six). On top of all that, he somehow finds time to mentor our Director, Jem Stein, and facilitated an operations review at The Bike Project. His immense experience running businesses and charities was crucial in creating the operational template to scale up our work.
Silla is a refugee himself from Guinea-Bissau. Despite living in a homeless shelter in Haringey Green Lanes and having to rely on a crutch to walk, he travels to The Bike Project every week to help repair bikes for other refugees. It always amazes how someone who has so little can give so much of their to help others in a similar situation.
Nick is a teacher at a local school who somehow finds the time to spend pretty much every Thursday evening fixing bikes for refugees. We are currently experiencing an overwhelming number of refugees wanting bikes at our sessions but Nick is always a calming, efficient presence in the midst of the chaos unfolding around him. He has also helped collect bikes at his school and raise money from local funders – thanks so much Nick!
James is a professional photographer who usually is employed to photograph rock and metal bands around the world. Over the past year, he has been painstakingly creating a book of photographic portraits of refugees who have benefitted from the project. We have already used many of his stunning photos in our marketing and fundraising materials. In addition to this, he now takes the pictures of the bikes that we sell which has hugely boosted our sales.
We’d love you to get involved in whatever way you can. If this lot show anything, it’s that any and all skills are helpful when it comes to running a charity. Find out more about volunteering at our Thursday sessions here.
Written on: 09 Jun 2016 | Author: Anna Chapman