A charity recycling bikes and providing outreach facilities for underprivileged youngsters in Edinburgh has been devastated by a warehouse fire, and is crowdfunding to get back on its feet.
The Bike Station suffered an unexplained blaze on Monday October 17 which destroyed the interior of the premises including the shop floor, workshop and office space, and left a hole in the roof.
It also caused asbestos damage, making for a costly and lengthy repair process.
Most of the charity’s bikes, tools and parts were lost in the fire.
A second hand bike shop has now been reestablished in nearby premises, but the charity work to help young people, including build-your-own-bike courses for disadvantaged youngsters, has been put on hold.
Manager Steve Hynd told the Herald: "Without access to a functional workshop space and appropriate tools, we haven't been able to hold our twice weekly Fix Your Own Bike sessions, which are a great educational resource for the local cycling community.
"With the cold weather setting in, and people less likely to get on their bikes, winter is a quieter time for us, and the fire couldn't have come at a more inopportune time."
The charity is offering incentives to those who donate, with rewards such as bike maintenance classes and bike services.
Mr Hynd added: "Any cash donations through our Crowdfunder appeal would also be of great help. However small, even a few pounds will go a long way to helping us back on our feet."
On the charity’s crowdfunding website, the managers wrote:
As The Bike Station is not just bricks and mortar, but the staff and volunteers and engaged members of the public that have kept it going these past 15 years, we will not be giving up and, collectively, we are working very hard to keep The Bike Station running. We want to continue our activities in the cycling community and beyond, offering our cycling support services, knowledge and sustainability initiatives.
Even though we are all working very hard, we won’t be able to get through this difficult time on energy alone and would be grateful of any help you may be able to afford us. Although our premises were insured, unfortunately the insurance won’t be enough to cover all damage caused by the fire, as well as the increased demand on our available resources. We are doing all we can to keep the Bike Station going so that we can keep serving the community but we have had to reduce our social services and outreach projects as well as our educational programmes due to the lack of space and equipment. This has had a negative impact on our already difficult situation.
We would like to ask you to please help us to survive through this tough time. We want to rebuild the Bike Station, to make it a stronger organisation. We want to continue to support environmental sustainability by recycling bikes, provide cycling information and support to all, as well as offering free Dr Bike bicycle safety checks and family friendly cycling advice.
We would like you to ask for your kind financial support to enable us to:
- Rebuild the training workshop so that we can begin working with youth groups and the community again;
- Refit our Fix Your Own Bike area. We need tools and workstands to facilitate the training sessions we offer to the public, whilst providing easy access to professional equipment, mechanical advice and our cycling expertise. This will allow us to teach members of the local community how to repair their bikes themselves;
- Replace office equipment to aid the support of our social and community projects;
- Replace our educational and training materials;
Overall any donation will contribute to our survival and recovery after the fire so we can carry on our core activities (to promote cycling, providing refurbished bikes to the community, recycling bikes and reduce barriers to cycling) during this difficult time.
To donate, click here.