Previously a bar supervisor, Thomas took steps to slow down his pace of life and has since been a committed volunteer with us for over 18 months.
Thomas, why did you choose to volunteer at Bike for Good?
When I first started in May 2018 I had an interest in bikes but very little knowledge around fixing them. I started here as I developed a heart condition and had to quit my hospitality career. I was working as a bar supervisor across Glasgow but after having a heart attack at 34, I was advised to slow down my life. As a result, I began investing my time at Bike for Good.
How do you spend your time here at Bike for Good?
To begin with, I was stripping bikes, joining in with several mechanic sessions and helping out with the Skills and Development Bike Academy Sessions. Since then, I’ve developed a good grounding in mechanical skills and have completed a Level 1 in City and Guilds. More recently, I’ve been helping out with building bikes for the Christmas bike donation drop, as well as other departments, including nextbike, Wellbeing rides and the bike donations at both the South and West hubs.
How has volunteering impacted your life?
Volunteering at Bike for Good has had massive benefits for me. I’ve been told not to go back to bar work, so the skills I’ve been getting here have been a huge boost in a new direction of employment for me. Although my heart is permanently damaged, the opportunities I’ve had at Bike for Good have helped me feel more healthy and I’ve seen a big increase in my health. I’ve been able to upskill my mechanical knowledge after basically starting from scratch. I’ve developed a good skillset in refurbishing bikes and I’ve even been able to start working alongside the workshop mechanics, which is an exciting new step for me.
Anything you would like to add?
Bike for Good have given me a second opportunity. As I’m not getting any younger, I’m thankful for the new direction the team have given me. I’d recommend volunteering here to lots of people, as it helps people find their own paths in life and purpose and belonging. Sometimes we don’t always find it where we are looking for it, and volunteering might help us find it. All of us that volunteer here have found Bike for Good for some reason, and it has given me purpose. I’m able to relate to other volunteers from different backgrounds too who feel the same way.
Thanks to Thomas for learning alongside us and investing three days a week at our hubs!