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!!

Attention, Organised Admin Types: We’re Hiring!

Admin Assistant, Byker

£8.76 per hour

We’re looking for a new team member for our Byker ‘head office’. This post will be part-time, 16hrs a week.

You’ll need to be organised and methodical. Preferably, you’ll have worked in an office of a small business or charity, and have experience of the sort of paperwork and documents that get generated. Ideally you’ll have also worked processing invoices etc, along with having an understanding of the broad principles of profit and loss, and cash management.

You must be IT literate. You need to be comfortable enough with applications like Word, Excel, Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail to be able to help us develop ways of doing things efficiently and repeatably. The ideal candidate will also have experience of data entry for Sage or similar software, and either qualified as or willing to undertake training as an accountancy technician.

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 shops to cover holidays), and the hours you work, which may change with mutual agreement. 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 April. The expected start date is in May. 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 the general manager, Karl.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: Friday 21st April, 5pm

Application Form & Other Documents:

Byker Admin Assistant Advert (the above text): 

 

Byker Admin Assistant Role Description & Person Spec: 

 

Application Form: 

Evans Cycles Trade In Is Back!

It’s that time of year again, when you might be thinking it’s time for a new bike. Of course, we’d love to see you at one of our shops, but if you happened to find yourself at Evans Cycles instead, you can still help us as a charity.

Evans Cycles are running their hugely popular trade-in scheme again this year. It’s pretty straightforward – just take your old boneshaker* to Evans Cycles, and they give you a discount on your new bike – if you’re in the market for something really shiny, it can be as much as a £500 off. Evans Cycles then pass your old bike on to us, and we do our charity thing with it: It’ll be turned into a great value ride from someone in the North East, or even sent it all the way to help the projects we support in Kenya or The Gambia. So everyone’s a winner!

You can trade your bike in at two shops locally:

Evans Cycles at the Metro Centre


Evans Cycles in Durham


*Your trade-in bike doesn’t have to be a boneshaker – we can make great use of more modern bikes or bikes in better condition too! And remember, if you’re not in the market for a new bike, you can always donate your old bike to us anyway.

Bike Giveaway to Local Schools

(No photos of this one – we really must try harder at this!)

Because Recyke relies on donations of bikes, we have very little control over our incoming stock. Sometimes we get a glut of ladies bikes, and sometimes it’s road bikes. And either side of Christmas, we always get more children’s bikes than we know what to do with.

Rather than seeing this as a problem, we identified a great opportunity to help some of the local schools near to our Byker railway arches. So yesterday morning we gave 28 bikes a final safety check, pumped up their tyres, and loaded them into the back of a van. Then two of our wonderful volunteers, Roger and Derek, played the role of The Bike Fairy and visited Hotspur Primary, Chillingham Road Primary, Walkergate Primary, and Byker Primary to deliver a fleet of bikes to each school. These can be used for PE lessons, or for loan bikes when pupils do Bikeability, or can even just be given direct to children whose parents can’t afford a bike.

This is a great example of how, because of Recyke y’bike’s charity status, we get to do things that don’t make us any money, but do put smiles on people’s faces and do make a difference to the community.

If you’d like to get involved and to help us make a slightly better world, why not check out the aptly named Get Involved page on this site?

Attention Bike Mechanics: We’re Hiring!

Lego bike mechanic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 clement127:Flickr) .jpgOne of our favourite long-term mechanics is leaving us to move back to Germany.

These are big boots to fill, but we’re hoping that there’s an experienced bike mechanic out there who’s just itching to show us what they can do:

VACANCY – Bicycle Mechanic

£8.76 per hour

We’re looking for a new team member for the Durham shop. This post will be part-time, 28hrs a week to match the shop’s opening hours of Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 – 5:00.

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 need 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. So 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. 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 March. The expected start date is mid-late April. Application forms are available from any of our shops, or below. If you’re thinking of applying, we’d encourage you to pop into the Durham shop for an informal chat with the shop manager, Dave.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: MONDAY 20th March, 5pm

Application form and other documents:

Durham Mechanic Advert (the above text): 

 

Durham Mechanic Person Spec: 

 

Application Form: 

Poets’ Corner

We asked Melissa, who’s one of our volunteers to help with some words for the shop signage at The Journey this week. She did most of the work on this website for us, and is a bit of a wordsmith. So along with some great, catchy ideas, she also sent us a little poem to explain what Recyke is all about:

If you need a used bike,
We’ve ones that you’ll like.
Want to repair and to fix?
We will teach you our tricks.
Should you want to donate,
(And whatever it’s state
We will fix that up, too,
‘Til it works just like new)
You can leave it and we
Will sell it on or see
If it stands up to the
Terrain of Africa
We will get it to folks
Who need transport with spokes.
And if you volunteer
To help out around here
Recyke y’Bike will be
Like your new family.
True, it’s a rarity,
Our little bike charity.

Well it made us smile on a cold January morning!