Volunteer Spotlight: Orla
Orla works in Environmental Education and has been a South Hub volunteer for over a year. After moving to Glasgow from Arran, she was looking for something to do for the winter and ended up staying with us because she loved it so much!
Orla, why did you choose to volunteer at Bike for Good?
Having just left a job as an activity instructor I had really fallen in love with teaching, particularly outwith a classroom setting! When I heard about the things that Bike for Good were doing I was excited about the idea of teaching people cycling skills.
I’ve loved bikes since I was wee, so the idea of helping to provide others with a set of skills for cheap, healthy, happy travel was a no-brainer. Committing to volunteer with such an amazing charity feels like a really valuable use of my time. Since I started I’ve met a whole bunch of the lovely people that work, volunteer, and learn here and each week I’m excited to come in.
How do you spend your time here at Bike for Good?
Early on during at my time at Bike for Good we went on a trip to Millport which was a great day trip for the kids. Since then I’ve mostly been involved with the Kids Club that runs on a Thursday. I’ve loved working with the group and it’s been a fantastic sort of chaos.
I’ve also helped run the women’s beginner sessions on Thursdays, and as my first experience teaching adults it’s been so engaging to see how different the learning process can be. The group is such a supportive learning environment and it’s wonderful to watch confidence grow!
More recently I’ve come along to the Spokes not Blokes maintenance sessions for women and non-binary people. Having not been that confident with mechanics in the past, the sessions are always very open and welcoming – encouraging a group who might not always feel welcome in more traditional bike maintenance spaces.
How has volunteering impacted your life?
Volunteering here has had a significant impact on my life. The Kids Club especially is something I look forward to each week. Teaching in this manner has definitely grown my confidence in my own ability to teach and Bike for Good have put me through a couple of qualifications, so I can now work as a cycling instructor.
Having an organisation put their confidence in you like that makes you feel valuable, it’s just one of the many things Bike for Good does to look after it’s people. Volunteering has allowed me to meet folk with the same interests and form friendships that are a part of my new community in Glasgow.
Anything you would like to add?
I’d like to thank all the people who work and volunteer at the charity for making it such a great place for everyone who uses its many services! For anyone thinking about getting involved in the charity in any way I would say do it, it’s a forward-thinking organisation that is a highlight of my week. It could be yours too!
Thanks to Orla for always making us smile.