volunteer spotlight: Avi
“Working at Bike for Good has significantly contributed to my happiness as a resident of Glasgow”
Avi decided to volunteer with Bike for Good to become more involved in his local community and to develop his knowledge and skills in bike mechanics. Originally from Malaysia, Avi moved to the UK for university and came to Glasgow in 2019. Seeking a sense of community and people who share his passion for bikes, Bike for Good was a good opportunity to feel a little more at home. He learned to cycle with friends at uni and now counts bike touring as one of his main hobbies; he’s completed tours around the UK and Europe but has his heart set on a world tour now!
Avi spends the majority of his volunteering time at Bike for Good in the workshop at the West Hub. He works alongside fellow volunteers to disassemble donated bikes and restore them so they’re ready to be sold, and this work significantly helps senior mechanics. Multiple bikes can effectively be refurbished at the same time, which means more bikes are sent to the shop floor giving customers a greater choice and encouraging more sales. Volunteering at Bike for Good was a great way to learn core skills in bike maintenance and mechanics. In doing so, he has the confidence not only to drive his dreams further but also to help and encourage those around him to cycle safely in Glasgow.
As cycling is an important part of his daily life, the invaluable practical skills and knowledge through volunteering at Bike for Good has given him more confidence when cycling in the city and on longer tours. Volunteering has also made a positive impact on his mental health, as meeting like-minded people and working with a diverse group has given Avi a greater sense of belonging. He looks forward to Friday afternoons spent at the workshop, where he finds fixing bikes “cathartic and meditative”
He also takes part in led bike rides as part of a pilot project at the new North Civic Street Hub. This involves taking people who may lack confidence or experience cycling on short bike rides around the city, teaching road skills and providing general assistance to those who need extra support. He likes being able to share the positive benefits of cycling as a sustainable, healthy and fun way to travel with people from many different cultures and walks of life.
He believes the work of Bike for Good is not just great for the community, but also politically important at a national level. Its presence, expansion and community engagement are evidence of a real and active interest in using bikes for the purposes of commuting, health, environmental sustainability and enjoyment – this boosts funding for bike infrastructure and makes travel safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The benefits of volunteering with Bike for Good for Avi have been manifold. He says it’s great to be part of an organisation that is actively creating positive change within the community. Volunteering positions are open to everyone interested in learning more about bikes, and no level of knowledge is presumed. It’s also a welcoming social environment. The team are friendly and compassionate, and happy to help volunteers with any query no matter how small.