Pedalling the way to employment

Members of the public attending a Dr.Bike event held at The Mary Potter Health Centre

One of the barriers to employment is access to affordable transport. Whether that’s getting to a job interview or heading in for an early shift before the buses start for the day. Dr Bike aims to help by offering cycle repairs to boost employability.

Dr Bike events work with communities on an individual and local level to give people support tailored to their needs.

Mohammed from Hyson Green used Dr Bike to help get back into cycling: “I like to cycle a bit, now the weather is good, never really thought about cycling to my job interviews before but it sounds good, and it’s free as I already have a bike.”

The Dr Bike project aims to promote cycling as a viable travel option, and a real alternative to car ownership and public transport. Inspiring confidence is key – once equipped with the ability to cycle this offers people more opportunities to access employment and training further afield.

Bike being repaired

Along with bike maintenance, travel planners work with people to support their individual needs. Through events such as led rides or by creating bespoke travel plans to help people get around the city on two wheels. Those without access to a bike may be eligible for one as part of this project.

The pop up shops are located at community centres around the city, particularly in areas of high unemployment, and are there for people to drop in. Iqbal in Hyson Green said: “It’s a good thing it’s being held round here, I was just walking past and saw it. So I got my bike which has been in my garden for six months now, which has now been fixed.”

Although the sessions are open to everyone they are specifically designed to reach those most in need of support, such as jobseekers, apprentices and people returning to work.

The project has been well received in the local community and budding cyclists often return for ongoing maintenance. Mohammed continues: “They used to hold these kind of things here but after a while they stopped, but it’s great to see them do it again, you can have your bike fixed and checked.”

As a result, Dr Bike events have expanded to new locations across the city, including Clifton, Bulwell and St Ann’s with regular pop ups at jobs fairs.

Sustrans is delivering the project on behalf of Nottingham City Council as part of the Access Fund. Bikeworks are a not-for-profit community interest company that offer lots of ‘bikey stuff’ to communities in Nottingham

Click here to find your nearest Dr. Bike event.