Volunteer Spotlight: Hannah
Hannah works in community arts as a Creative Assistant at Impact Arts in Glasgow, and has been volunteering at Bike for Good South Community Hub for nine months.
Hannah, why did you choose to volunteer at Bike for Good?
There were quite a few reasons behind my desire to volunteer. Around this time last year I got my bike serviced so that I could commute to work. I soon realised that if something went wrong with my bike, like a flat tyre or worn brake pads, then I wouldn’t know where to start. I wanted to learn and become more empowered to understand bikes.
Coincidentally, Bike for Good were running a 2 day intensive bike mechanical course taught by women and for women only. This appealed to me so much because I wanted to meet and support female mechanics, and I imagined this would be a nice atmosphere to learn in. On that course, led by Sylwia, we learned a lot and exchanged stories of cycling in the city and our attitudes to our bikes and fixing them ourselves. It was a really encouraging experience.
As well as being mechanics, all of the teachers on that course taught cycling to beginners and improvers. They suggested and recommended training to become a Cycle Trainer.
After that course I considered the idea of teaching cycling as a part time job. Teaching combines my interests in working directly with the public, and sharing knowledge to empower people to become independent cyclists. I was recommended to approach Bike for Good to ask about opportunities to gain experience in shadowing teachers and helping out with led rides. I also hoped that being around bikes more would improve my mechanical knowledge – and very slowly it is helping!
How do you spend your time at Bike for Good?
From July 2019, I began a regular Saturday session at the Bike For Good South Community Hub, going out on the morning group ride for 2 hours and then assisting with adult and child lessons in the afternoon. I fit helmets for people, I adjust bikes and generally support lessons in Queens Park by giving lots of encouragement to beginner cyclists! Alongside my regular Saturdays, I have volunteered at a couple of community events doing skills tracks with young people.
How has volunteering at Bike for Good impacted your life?
I have had such a great experience. A highlight has been meeting some really friendly and polite people who come for lessons. I really value the routine of my Saturday and the fact that I’ll be outdoors and active for at least six hours. The film screening of Let’s Go in October was a lovely community event, which reflected the great work done by Bike for Good. It’s been really nice getting to know the other volunteers and staff at the charity, who all have their own reasons for wanting to work with bikes and promote cycling to more people.
As a volunteer I have felt valued and supported. In the last couple of months I have completed a 2 day outdoor First Aid course and have completed my Cycle Trainer qualification with Cycling Scotland, both courses sponsored by Bike for Good. With these qualifications and my voluntary experience I will continue to teach cycling and promote Bike for Good!
Around the time that I began volunteering I bought a second hand bicycle from Bike for Good. Although my hybrid bike is very good and reliable it was far too heavy for me to carry up 2 flights of stairs to my flat, and that was putting me off using it. So I bought a very light single speed bike which I can now pick up with one hand and put over my shoulder. This really changed my attitude to cycling and travelling. With this bike I’ve become a lot more active, fitter and happier.
I want to add that, as an artist, cycling has influenced my most recent illustration work. Below is some artwork I have recently made, lino prints and watercolour painting of people on bikes!
Anything you would like to add?
Thank you to Hannah and Sarah and everyone I have met and who has welcomed me while I’ve been volunteering.
Thanks to Hannah for giving us her Saturdays and being generally wonderful!