This month’s Community Fund Focus is on Just Cycle – a Tweedbank-based charity which aims to bring communities together and reduce landfill by recycling and upcycling old and broken bicycles.
Founded in 2014, the charity now has four directors. Fundraiser Alison Cameron tells us more about what the charity does:
“Our mission is to reduce inequalities, and encourage strong intergenerational relationships by involving all sectors of the community in our work. This includes recycling and re-using the bikes, and encouraging cycling among all sectors, including socially disadvantaged or isolated people.”
Vegware have been supporting Just Cycle with monthly monetary donations since November 2016, which Just Cycle use to cover their core costs. Alison explains what this has allowed them to do:
“Without the support of the Vegware Community Fund, our core costs would prevent us from being able to continue. Also, because Vegware put its faith in us, other funders are wiling to support us as well.
For example, this year this allowed us to gain funds for training a mechanic to industry standard, thus raising the profile or trust in our bikes – we can put a stamp of quality on our bikes to say they have all been re(up)cycled by a trained bike mechanic.”
Alongside their work with people, Vegware were keen to support Just Cycles because of their commitment to the environment and waste reduction. Alison explains,
“We aim to contribute towards regional re-use and recycling rates by recovering bikes from the waste stream, reducing waste sent to landfill and raising awareness of the importance of re-use and recycling locally. “
The charity will continue to carry out its work in 2017, with sights set on expansion and development of new skills. Alison continues,
“We’re at a stage now where we’re looking for a member of staff to oversee the whole initiative. We also have potential partners wishing to work with us to support people to learn new skills. We see possible work with partners in Health to enable people to be encouraged and supported to make healthier lifestyle choices by cycling.”