Volunteer Bike Mechanics

Life Cycle UK
Contract Type: 
1 day a week (10 am - 4 pm).
Details of Role: 


Skilled Mechanics Needed! - To help with our project at Horfield Prison 


About Us

At Life Cycle UK, we believe that with the right support, almost anyone can cycle. We work to remove the barriers to this low-cost, ‘green’ and healthy form of transport by giving people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to unlock the benefits of cycling. To us, cycling is the key to improving happiness, health and the environment! 

Founded in 1999, we’ve been offering life-changing cycling activities and support to people from all walks of life. We are based in Bristol, but over time our projects have expanded across the West of England, Derbyshire and Swindon. 


About the Project 

Bike Back Bristol is our innovative bike recycling project based at HMP Bristol (locally known as Horfield prison). There, we collect donations of unwanted bicycles from the public. They are then taken into the prison, where our Workshop Instructor teaches the men in prison how to strip down, clean and rebuild the bikes. This gives the bikes a new lease of life and more importantly - it gives the men a happy, friendly environment where they can improve their confidence through working on bikes while doing something positive for the community. 

Bikes come out of the workshop inside of the prison and are taken to our non-secure workshop located in the prison car park. They are checked, tweaked and made ready for sale by our mechanics and a team of volunteers. The bikes are then sold at affordable prices, with the intention of helping local people on low incomes to get a bike and start cycling. All funds raised at bike sales are put directly back into the project. 


About the Roles 

As part of our Bike Back Bristol project, Life Cycle UK are looking for skilled and experienced cycle mechanics, who can spare a day a week (10 am - 4 pm) to: 

  • Work with men in prison; and/or, 
  • Check refurbished bikes. 


Prison Workshop Volunteers 

We are looking for volunteers who are keen to work with men in prison, in our secure workshop within HMP Bristol. You will work alongside the Life Cycle Workshop Instructor to support the men to learn bike mechanics and refurbish bikes. 

We have volunteering opportunities across the week from Monday to Friday. 

What makes a great Prison Workshop Volunteer? 

  • Be a competent bike mechanic in all (or at least most) areas  
  • Can strip down and re-build a bike independently 
  • Be keen to share your skills with others 
  • Have an interest in supporting men in prison to learn new skills 
  • Have an open and non-judgmental attitude towards men in prison 
  • Be willing to undertake prison security vetting 
  • Have an interest in supporting men who may require additional support needs. 


Bike Checkers 

We are looking for volunteer mechanics with a high level of skill and excellent attention to detail, to follow our systematic procedure to check that the rebuild process has been completed properly. 

Examples of work you may do are: 

  • Check, clean and grease bearings 
  • Check headsets, hubs and brake pad spacers have been reassembled in the correct order 
  • Adjust gears to insure smooth indexing. 

The role is an excellent opportunity to work on a wide range of bikes and build on your existing cycle mechanic skills.

We can offer: 

  • Friendly and sociable environment 
  • A fully equipped cycle workshop 
  • Tea and coffee 
  • Lunch for those who do a full day 
  • Work alongside mechanics with years of professional experience 
  • A chance to volunteer with other Life Cycle projects.

A City & Guilds Level 2 qualification in cycle mechanics (or equivalent) would be an advantage but is not essential. 

We have opportunities for volunteers to work in our workshop across the week (Tuesday - Saturday). 

Working within prison grounds 

The bike workshop is located in the car park of Horfield prison. Whilst this is not in the prison itself, the workshop is considered to be ‘within the precincts of a prison’. This means that volunteers may be subject to random security checks whilst engaging with the project. These are regularly undertaken by prison staff and police. 

What makes a great Bike Checker? 

While some training is given, we are ideally looking for volunteers who are already able to comfortably work on bikes relatively independently. In addition, we are looking for people who: 

  • Enjoy working in a team  
  • Like meeting members of the public (we are open to the public on Wed to Sat) 
  • Are happy to be guided by our mechanics 
  • Are reliable 
  • Are willing to learn new skills 
  • Have good attention to detail 
  • Have level 1 English.

A City & Guilds Level 2 qualification in cycle mechanics (or equivalent) would be an advantage but is not essential. 

Closing Date: 
Friday, 29 July, 2022 - 09:00
How to Apply: 

If you are interested in volunteering for this fantastic project, and would like more information, please contact David Angel - david@lifecycleuk.org.uk or call for a chat on 07920 635 899.