Good Cycles is a social enterprise – 100% of the revenue from our commercial operations including our bicycle shop, maintenance courses and Melbourne Bike Share operations, goes towards our community programs and initiatives.
ISSUES WE'RE ADDRESSING
Good Cycles’ social programs work with those experiencing disadvantage from a range of communities – including at-risk youth, long term unemployed, recent refugees and asylum seekers. Our vision is an Australia focused on advancing equality, health and sustainability through bicycles and cycling.
As a social enterprise we provide immediate work experience and employment opportunities to those participating in our programs while establishing long term employment outcomes through our extensive industry networks. We believe a bike is far more than just a mode of transport, it can provide skills, focus and opportunity to those in need.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Good Cycles was founded by Loretta Curtin and Luke Wright. The idea was hatched one morning over a cup of tea. After countless more cups of tea, a multitude of meetings and a lot of hard work, the concept has grown into an inspiring non-profit organisation.
To many, Good Cycles is an organisation that simply offers practical and time-saving services to Melbourne’s cyclists. These include our Docklands bike shop, service centre, workshops and our mobile bicycle mechanics zipping around the city on cargo bikes (carrying tools and parts on board) tuning up and servicing bikes while people are at work, university or events. We also teach cyclists the essentials of bike maintenance and we help governments and organisations to deliver bicycle-based community programs.
But there’s something greater at the heart of Good Cycles. Our mission is to give a helping hand to those with genuine and often serious barriers to getting ahead in life. As a non-profit organisation, we aim to provide training, employment and direct ongoing support to people who might otherwise struggle to find work opportunities. In particular, those who have been experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, disability and other conditions that lead to distress or helplessness.
It is our ongoing aim to continue tackling social and environmental issues two wheels at a time. You can help just by getting your bike serviced at our Docklands bike centre.
WHO WE HELP
Good Cycles is a not-for-profit – we use all of our commercial revenue to maintain our existing programs, increase our scope and capacity, and support our social program participants. We are committed to being as broadly focused and inclusive as we can when offering our help to vulnerable people.
The groups we work with include:
–Disengaged and isolated youth and young adults
–People with mental health issues
–People who are long term unemployed
–People with unstable housing
–People with low educational attainment
HOW WE HELP
Our engagement programs connect Good Cycles with the disadvantaged and vulnerable communities of Melbourne. It provides a connection point, opportunity to create relationships, teach valuable skills and provide transport. It also decreases social isolation, provides community engagement and places positive role models into participant’s lives. Our engagement programs provide a pathway into our vocational training and workplace programs.
Vocation and Work Based Programs
Our vocational and workplace based programs are key to what we do, they allow us to support some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities into long term employment.
The Pedal Empowerment Program (PEP) is a vocational training course that focuses on process driving thinking and developing mechanical and employable skills. The course takes the participants through an introductory bicycle mechanic course, basic workshop skills and relevant employment skills such as resume preparation, interview technique, workplace rights and provides connections with the industry. Participants are also given the opportunity to volunteer at our Community Bike Sheds to gain some hands on experience fixing bicycles.
After completing the PEP Program participants have the option to move into an intermediate bicycle mechanic course and have personalized support for their resumes and interview skills from a HR consultant, including a budget set up by a financial planner.
After completing the PEP program participants may be invited to work at Good Cycles for 3-6 months. Participants will work through a structured program designed to prepare them for long-term employment in the bicycle industry.
These programs are an opportunity for the community to connect with Good Cycles in a drop-in style program. The activities cover fixing your bicycle to learning how to ride and provide the chance of earning a bicycle of your own. We currently host one at the North Melbourne Community Centre on Thursdays from 3pm-6pm.
The Women’s Only Program is an opportunity for women to connect with one another and learn about bicycles in a safe environment. This program runs once a month and is open to women of any age, background or riding ability.
Fixing the Cycles works with alternative and disengaged students in Melbourne. The participants learn how to maintain their bicycles and the program connects them with Melbourne’s cycling community. We are currently working with five schools across the greater Melbourne region.
Good Cycles have partnered with YSAS and Youth Justice in Dandenong to deliver engagement programs for youth on corrections orders and young people struggling with mental health issues. This program is designed to connect young people to the cycling community, provide an affordable transport option and improve their mechanical skills.
Quinn House is an alcohol and drug rehabilitation service that runs in Melbourne. This program is designed to connect the participants to the cycling community, provide an affordable transport option and improve their mechanical skills.
WeCycle recycle unwanted bikes and re-home them with people who need them. Good Cycles has partnered with WeCycle to support their mechanical training and help develop their program. We are really excited by their amazing work – check them out!