The Bristol Bike Project is a comprehensive Community Bike Project who work to repair and relocate unwanted bicycles. They aim to help people from all walks of life get out on two wheels and for it to be an inclusive and empowering experience.
The Skills Bridge team were looking through the vaults and found this dissertation completed by Bristol University student Louis Devenish. We thought it worked as a good example of what happens when students and communities work together over a sustained period of time.
As a past volunteer there, it was a subject close to his heart. Devenish’ dissertation, Pedalling to Possibility, set out to assess the impact that the project has on its project-users lives. More precisely it evaluates how the bicycle and the process by which it is acquired, impact on the social inclusion and wellbeing of project-users. It found that they have greater autonomy of movement, can access more day-to-day services and activities and can better maintain their friend networks. They noted an improvement in their physical and psychological health. In addition, the workshop acts as an important space of empowerment and social interaction.