ATTENTION BIKE MECHANICS: WE’RE HIRING!

Lego bike mechanic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 clement127:Flickr) .jpg
We’re looking for a new team member at The Journey. This post will be full-time, 35hrs a week.

You’ll need to be a great bike mechanic. Preferably, you’ll be qualified to Velotech Gold or equivalent, along with at least six months’ hands-on workshop experience. We service & recycle a wide range of customers’ bikes, so you’ll need problem solving skills and familiarity with lots of different bikes, rather than intimate knowledge of the latest technology.

It would be a distinct advantage if you also have front-of-shop experience. You need to happy dealing with customers – either in person, or when they phone with enquiries.

You’ll be expected to have a firm commitment to Recyke y’Bike’s values: Equality and diversity; Community participation; sustainability and recycling; and Promotion of cycling. You must be a team player, able to get on with the other staff and volunteers.

Flexibility is important for this role, both in terms of the scope of the job (e.g. you may be asked to help in our other shops to cover holidays), and the hours you work – this role will include working on Saturdays. Currently holidays are 28 days a year pro-rata, and you’ll be enrolled in a contributory pension scheme.

We’ll be interviewing for this post in the last week of September. The expected start date is as soon as possible after. Application forms are available from any of our shops, or on our web site. If you’re thinking of applying, we’d encourage you to pop into our Byker workshop for an informal chat with our General Manager, Karl, or the Workshop Manager, Adrian.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 5pm on Friday 15th September

Application form and other documents:

Bike mechanic job advert (the above text):

 

Bike mechanic person spec:

 

Application Form:

Thank you to Chia Charge!

A big thank you to our new friends at Chia Charge. They’re a business making tasty cereal bars and other similar goodies that are great to keep a cyclist fuelled for a hard day in the saddle. But they’re also an ethical business, who’d signed up to 1% for the Planet. So earlier this month, they visited us to make a donation of £1,000.

We think that’s:

  1. Amazingly generous
  2. Absolutely awesome

We’ve put the money for one side – not for a rainy day (weather conditions today in Byker: Absolutely Battering It Down), but for a special project. We’re looking to send one of our mechanics and a volunteer to Nakuru in Kenya next year to deliver a Velotech course for our charity partners. With the funds from Chia Charge, we’re already halfway there.

Thanks again, guys!

Call for Quotations: Independent Examination of Accounts

Recyke y’bike is a charity, with a turnover of around £300k. Although that puts us in the top 10% or so of UK charities, it’s still pretty small compared with most private companies. If we were just a private company, we’d definitely be exempt from needing to have our accounts audited.

However, as a charity we do have a requirement for our accounts to be independently examined. Having been operating now for over a decade, we’re taking the opportunity to assess many of our existing providers for services. This includes the examination of accounts.

We are therefore looking to appoint a firm of accountants to provide this service. We anticipate that this will be a small contract, and that the work involved will be straightforward for most accountancy firms familiar with the charity sector. We will be able to provide backup / export files from Sage Line 50, along with details of policies applied and any non-standard practices.

Cost will be a factor, but not THE factor in our decision. Quality is far more important, and we need to feel comfortable that in awarding this contract, we’re building a relationship where the nominated supplier will from time to time be asked for advice on technical accounting issues.

In view of the low value of this contract, we don’t want interested parties to invest a huge amount of time in preparing their quotations. We are therefore specifying that your quotation should be no more than a single side of A4. Please ensure that you tell us how the quality you provide will be outstanding, and give an overall price for the year.

You can post your quotation to Karl McCracken, General Manager, Recyke y’bike Ltd, Unit 2 Hannington Street, Byker, NE6 1JT, or email to office@recyke-y-bike.org

Deadline for submissions is 10am, Monday 31st July.

We’re a Living Wage Employer

Our General Manager, Karl, looks pretty pleased about this – we’ve been accredited as a Living Wage Employer. This goes beyond the government’s “national living wage” (£7.50 per hour), and means that we pay 100% of our staff AND any subcontract or casual staff above the living wage threshold of £8.45 per hour.

Most of our staff started out as volunteers at Recyke y’bike. So although we don’t have any current staff vacancies, if you’re interested in a new career in the bicycle industry, you could do a lot worse than learn the ropes as a volunteer with us!

Volunteer as a Recyke Van Driver!

We’re still trying to resolve this one. In the end, we didn’t buy a van, as the insurance cost was, well, frankly, eye-watering. What we have instead is a contract hire rate agreed with a national vehicle hire firm. The one that sounds like a space ship out of Star Trek. No, not the Klingon ship – the OTHER one.

No, we don’t have our own van. This is just a photoshopped representation – a little dabbling in fake news, if you will.

So we’re looking for volunteer drivers to help out on a regular basis – one Saturday a month would be great. What we’re trying to set up are regular pickup runs to collect donated bikes from people’s houses – first Saturday of the month for postcodes to the North; second Saturday to the South & Durham; third Saturday etc.

Our drivers will need to be aged over 30 to comply with our hire agreement’s terms, and have a reasonably clean driving license. There’s a degree of physical work involved in getting bikes in and out of the van, so our drivers need to be in reasonable condition (if you’re slipped a disk, this might not be the volunteering opportunity for you!) Other than that, our drivers will be out there representing Recyke y’bike to the public. So you need to be a sensible and courteous driver at all times, and have a friendly and positive attitude.

What’s in it for you? Well obviously, you get a sense of doing good, plus discounts at our shops. Most of our staff started out as volunteers, and many of our volunteers have gone on to work at other bike shops. So if you’re looking to get into the bike business, this could be a great place to start. Similarly, if you’re looking to build your CV, voluntary work is a great way to boost your experience, and show you’re keen and willing. Around a quarter of our volunteers are retired – they volunteer because they still have a lot to contribute, and working with a charity is a great way to stay connected. So there’s something for everyone!

If all this sounds like just what you’re looking for, please fill in our volunteer application form, and we’ll get in touch!

Volunteer as a Recyke Mechanic!

Have you always wanted to work in a bike shop? Are you a natural tinkerer? Or do you just want to learn how to fix bikes?

 

You could be just what we’re looking for! We need volunteer mechanics to help out at our Byker workshop. We asked the workshop manager, Adrian, what sort of things people could help with, and here’s his list:

  1. Booking in donated bikes. Every bike donated is logged and appraised.
  2. Dismantling bikes – everyone, no matter what their experience, starts on this. It’s how we get to really appraise whether or not you know one end of a spanner from a lump hammer!
  3. Cleaning bikes – one of the biggest issues with some donated bikes is that they’ve never had a decent clean. But an hour with a bucket of water, some de-greasing jollop, and a toothbrush can turn a worthless piece of junk into a brand new bike.
  4. Prepping bikes – getting them ready for the qualified mechanics to finish off. Things like replacing brake blocks, identifying broken parts (& sourcing replacements from our extensive second hand stocks), running in cables ready to be connected up, etc
  5. Final assembly – Once qualified, you get to work on the final steps of our bike recycling work.
  6. Helping to keep the workshop clean and tidy – this can be anything from sweeping the floor to preparing the bikes that we’ll be sending to Africa for shipping.
  7. Anything else Ado asks of you.

What skills do you need for all this? Well, bearing in mind that we’ll train you on the important bits, it’s more about attitude than outright skills. You need to like working as part of a team, and doing your part in a wider scheme of things. You need to be interested in bikes, and support Recyke y’bike’s aims. Finally, you need to be reliable and trustworthy. Oh, and it helps if you’re slightly mechanically minded, but this is nowhere near essential.

Training & Qualifications: We work on the basis of progressive learning with our mechanics. So everyone starts of on dismantling, then you get to work on cleaning, then prepping. Up to this stage, it’s all on-the-job learning, with informal instruction / buddying up with other mechanics. Once people have been in the workshop for a good few months, and if they show aptitude (and are willing), we can put them through our certified training course. This runs about three times a year, on four consecutive Fridays, and at the end of this, you come away with a Velotech Gold certificate, which is the industry-recognised qualification for bike shop mechanics. The usual fee for this training is £450+VAT, but we train our volunteers for FREE.

What’s in it for you? Well obviously, you get a sense of doing good, plus discounts at our shops, and the potential to get that Velotech badge. Most of our staff started out as volunteers, and many of our volunteers have gone on to work at other bike shops. So if you’re looking to get into the bike business, this could be a great place to start. Similarly, if you’re looking to build your CV, voluntary work is a great way to boost your experience, and show you’re keen and willing. Around a quarter of our volunteers are retired – they volunteer because they still have a lot to contribute, and working with a charity is a great way to stay connected. So there’s something for everyone!

If all this sounds like just what you’re looking for, please fill in our volunteer application form, and we’ll get in touch!

 

Volunteer at a Recyke Shop!

Have you always wanted to work in a bike shop? Or are you just a naturally helpful person? Or do you like to make sure everything is Just So?

You could be just what we’re looking for! We need regular volunteers to help out in our shops – particularly Byker and The Journey. We asked our Byker shop’s manager, Jake, what sort of things people could help with, and here’s his list:

  1. Talk to customers and give them advice about bikes. This could be for their own bike, or bikes they’re looking to buy.
  2. Minor mechanic work – stuff like raising a saddle to the correct height, adjusting brakes, attaching accessories, etc. We’ll give you training in all this, and make sure that you know when to just shout for the shop’s qualified mechanic to take over.
  3. Helping to keep the shop clean and safe. Bike shops always seem to breed mess, and if it isn’t kept on top of, it can really take over.
  4. Sorting through the stock of secondhand parts we generate, and putting them in the right places. Customers leave things in the wrong drawers, mechanics from the workshop do likewise, stuff gets damaged, etc. It all needs constant checking and appraising – we have a place for everything, but is everything in the right place?
  5. Taking payments, handling cash, card reader, etc. Again – we’ll train you on how all this works.
  6. Anything else Jake asks of you.

What skills do you need for all this? Well, bearing in mind that we’ll train you on the important bits, it’s more about attitude than outright skills. You need to be friendly and approachable, with a positive attitude. You need to be interested in bikes, and support Recyke y’bike’s aims. Finally, you need to be reliable and trustworthy.

What’s in it for you? Well obviously, you get a sense of doing good, plus discounts at our shops. Most of our staff started out as volunteers, and many of our volunteers have gone on to work at other bike shops. So if you’re looking to get into the bike business, this could be a great place to start. Similarly, if you’re looking to build your CV, voluntary work is a great way to boost your experience, and show you’re keen and willing. Around a quarter of our volunteers are retired – they volunteer because they still have a lot to contribute, and working with a charity is a great way to stay connected. So there’s something for everyone!

If all this sounds like just what you’re looking for, please fill in our volunteer application form, and we’ll get in touch!

 

The Journey – Opening Times Extended

It’s not so long ago that we had just one shop. It was in Byker (we’re still there!), and opened on every seventh Saturday for two hours, unless this was a full moon, in which case we’d open the following Saturday, or if there was a “U” in the name of the month.

Things have moved on a bit and we now have shops in Byker, Durham and The Journey in the centre of Newcastle. They’ve all been open for at least four days a week for the last couple of years.

Over the last few months, we’ve been testing out being open for more days at The Journey. It makes the shop a lot more dependable, and people seem to like it. So as of this week, The Journey will be open six days a week. The new opening times are:

  • Monday – Saturday, 10:30 – 5:30

 

Kids Bikes

Easter has brought a real glut of smaller kids bikes, and we’re quite literally running out of space.

So if you’ve a bike that was previously ridden by a child under about eight years old, and were thinking of donating it to us, please can you hold off… for the next few weeks.

What we do desperately need are:

  • Bikes for older children – 24″ wheels or smaller-framed bikes with 26″ wheels.
  • Mountain bikes with 26″ or 29er wheels. We’re especially looking for budget bikes – if it cost you under £200 when new, we’d REALLY appreciate your donation!
  • Adult town and hybrid bikes
  • Adult road bikes, racing bikes and touring bikes – anything with “drop” handlebars

If in doubt, bring it down to us – you’d be amazed at what we can do. 🙂

Easter Opening

We’ve got staff on holiday at The Journey this weekend. At the same time, things are Really Busy at Byker, so rather than spreading ourselves too thin, we’ve decided to close The Journey over the Easter weekend.

So The Journey will be closed Good Friday (14th April) and right through the weekend, opening again on Tuesday 18th April.

Our shops at Byker and Durham will be open as usual on both Friday and Saturday, and closed as usual on Sunday and Monday.

Have a happy Easter… AND GO AND RIDE YOUR BIKE!!