Volunteer With Us!

To keep our community workshop running, we need volunteers with a passion for cycles, learning, and sharing knowledge. If this is you please read the FAQs below, and if you’re still keen please get in touch

**We have just restarted volunteer activities at the workshop (21/09/2020), starting with Monday Bike Recycling (with limited numbers and in our Courtyard. If you would like to get stuck in, send an email to volunteer@bsbcoop.org to find out more.**

We are taking the recent increase in Coronavirus cases and the latest restrictions incredibly seriously and all sessions will be limited to 6 people (including staff). Volunteers will need to book in advance if they plan to come along.

If you have symptoms/have been in contact with someone with symptoms, please do not come to the workshop. Please stay at home.

Q: What experience do I need to volunteer?

Broken Spoke’s DIY sessions have a teaching focus. Our aim is for folks to learn how to fix and maintain their own cycles.

If you are wondering about whether or not you are experienced enough to volunteer, we’d encourage you to try to not to focus on cycle mechanics. Instead, consider these questions:

  • Are you able to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds in a calm, friendly & patient way?
  • Do you have experience of solving simple problems with basic tools (not necessarily cycle mechanics)?
  • Do you have experience of listening to instructions and helping folks to put them into practice?
  • Do you have experience with, or an interest in, hands-off approaches to learning and teaching?

Experience with cycle mechanics is not required to volunteer. Cycle mechanics is the route through which people learn how to fix stuff and use tools at Broken Spoke, so some knowledge will be helpful for you — though not essential to begin. Volunteering with us is one route to gaining mechanics experience.

If your preference is to work directly on cycles yourself, then volunteering in DIY sessions might not be for you. We’re working on increasing opportunities to fix bikes yourself and we ask that you sign up to our newsletter here, or keep an eye on our website for updates.

Q: What’s it like volunteering at Broken Spoke?

At the moment, several aspects of Broken Spoke’s volunteering programme are in development and not yet fully defined. Volunteering with us at the moment will likely require from you a willingness to ask questions, make requests for information or action, and a pro-active approach (e.g. checking in with a list of volunteer to-dos, checking in with the person running the session etc). The workshop can be a busy and potentially intimidating environment – it can also be really fun!

If you think that this would be too big a challenge for you, please consider waiting to begin volunteering — we are working on increasing support for volunteers so there will likely be an opportunity to join in the future. Do keep an eye on our website or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop.

This might all sound a bit off-putting, don’t despair! There are lots of wonderful people who are involved with Broken Spoke, and many lasting friendships have been made, super cycle rides ridden, and wizardry mechanical fixes uncovered. There is definitely space for you to contribute to that too!

Q: What’s the time commitment?

We ask that volunteers can give a minimum of 6 hours per month of their time to Broken Spoke activities (e.g. two 3 hour DIY sessions, or Beryl’s Nights, class support, meetings, community events).

We are working with an assumption that active participation is essential to building a fixing & cycling community, a sense of belonging, effective learning, and developing skills. Please reflect on what time commitment is realistic for you. If you can’t commit to the minimum time at the moment, please consider contacting us again in the future when you can.


ALREADY A VOLUNTEER?

To try and maintain our existing community of lovely volunteers, we are thinking of hosting some online volunteer socials/meetups. Keep your eye on your email/whatsapp for updates on this.


In order to keep this safe for everyone (all our staff, volunteers, and the wider community) we are maintaining physical distancing measures and hygiene practices as well as taking the following measures to minimise the risk of virus transmission:

  • For now, we will only be running these sessions outside. We have got hold of some gazebos and floodlights to ensure we can carry on in the rain and into the evenings. Fingers crossed this beautiful weather will stick around a while longer but soon it will start to get chilly, so bring plenty of warm layers!
  • All Staff and Volunteers will need to wear face masks during the sessions
  • Bike stands will be adequately spaced to ensure social distancing, with 2 stands either side of a tool pallet walls
  • Gloves must be worn and staff members will be reminding volunteers to change their gloves on a regular basis and wash hands frequently
  • Only 2 people are allowed into the workshop at a time, this includes using the toilet, making cups of tea, and getting tools from inside the workshop.

Upcoming events for volunteers

Past events for volunteers

2016

Friday, 2 September, 6 pm
Workshop Team meeting

Friday, 15 July, 6 pm
Social: Meet at the workshop for a leisurely ride ending in a (maybe not so nearby) pub.

Friday, 10 June, 6 pm
Social: Meet at the workshop for a trip (and maybe a ride) to the pub.

Friday, 27 May, 6 – 9 pm
Special skill share session: This one is a special on Sturmey Archer AW hubs and attendance is limited to 6 people.

Friday, 20 May, 6 – 9 pm
Skill share session

Friday, 15 April, 6 – 9 pm
Skill share session

Friday, 18 March, 6 – 9 pm
Skill share session

Friday, 26 February, 6 – 7:30 pm
Workshop Team meeting: Get more involved and collaborate with fellow volunteers to make our workshop the best learning and doing space it can be!

Friday, 19 February, 6 – 9 pm
Skill share session

Monday, 8 February, 6:30 – 8 pm
Workshop Team meeting

Friday, 15 January, 6 – 9 pm
Skill share session: Come down to the workshop to learn and practice bike mechanics and get to know your fellow volunteers. We’ll head to the pub afterwards.

Monday, 11 January, 6 – 7:30 pm
Workshop Team meeting

2015
Friday, 11 December, from 6:30 pm
Christmas party

Friday, 27 November, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share: Come on down to the workshop to work on donated and abandoned bikes, share what you know, pick up new skills and help us get these steeds back on the road!

Monday, 23 November, 6pm
Broken Spoke’s annual Volunteer Feast: Bring a dish, meet your fellow volunteers, share experiences and discuss our plans for the year ahead.

Friday, 6 November, 6 – 7:30 pm
Workshop Team relaunch meeting

Friday, 2 October, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 25 September, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 18 September, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 11 September, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 4 September, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 28 August, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 14 August, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 7 August, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 10 July, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 3 July, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 26 June, ~ 6:00 pm
Volunteers’ potluck picnic: let’s have a leisurely pedal from the workshop to Port Meadow for a summery potluck picnic. Bring a dish, a friend and lots of sunshine!

Friday, 19 June, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share on cycle training by Sam and Kiro.

Friday, 12 June, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Bike refurbishment skill share

Friday, 29 May, ~ 7:00 pm
Get-together after Critical Mass

Friday, 22 May, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, Communicating bike mechanics to workshop customers – ideas session facilitated by Johnny

Friday, 15 May, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, refurbishing donated bikes with Sam

Friday, 8 May, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, join us in creating a safer spaces policy for Broken Spoke. Through this we want to foster a supportive, non-threatening environment in the workshop that encourages open-mindedness, respect, a willingness to learn from others, as well as physical and mental safety.

Friday, 1 May, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, explore brakes with Meike

Friday, 24 April, ~ 7:00 pm
Get-together after Critical Mass

Friday, 27 March, ~ 7:00 pm
Get-together after Critical Mass

Friday, 20 March, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, freestyle – work on your own project, give your bike some TLC or get some practice done on one of ours

Friday, 13 March, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, refurbishing stripping donated bikes with Elle

Friday, 6 March, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, freestyle – watch Johnny use a bearing puller and install a new headset on his Peugeot, give your own bike some TLC or work on your own project!

Friday, 27 February, ~ 7:00 pm
Get-together after Critical Mass

Friday, 20 February, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on hub gears by Tom (limited numbers of spaces – sorry, all spots taken!)

Friday, 13 February, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on bottom brackets by Meike

Friday, 6 February, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session, refurbishing donated bikes with Sam

Friday, 23 January, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on indexing gears by Elle and Meike

Friday, 16 January, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on wheel trueing by Tom

Friday, 9 January, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session: refurbishing donated bikes with Elle.

2014
Friday, 19 December, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on safety checks and frame damage assessment by Tom

Saturday, 13 December, from 7:00 pm
Christmas party at The Punter

Friday, 12 December, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on wheel hubs by Mike

Friday, 28 November, ~ 7:00 pm
Get-together after Critical Mass at The Royal Blenheim The Red Lion

Friday, 21 November, 5:45 – 8:45 pm
Skill share session on rim brakes by Tim and Meike

Friday, 14 November, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Broken Spoke Volunteer Feast – a pot-luck-picnic-dinner where we came together to meet our fellow Broken Spokers outside the workshop and talked about our plans to jazz up volunteering at Broken Spoke.

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