The London Bike Kitchen (LBK) is preparing to refit a second workshop located a few doors down from their current space on the New Era Estate in Hoxton. The second classroom will be a boon to their popular classes and summertime rush for bike repairs. However, the new shopfront is in dire need of refurbishment, and the rent deposit and legal fees will need to be covered. LBK is launching a crowdfunder to raise money for start up costs and renovation.
Hackney not-for-profit bike workshop rolls out crowdfunder
“Our social landlord has offered us a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand into a second workshop. LBK is celebrating its fourth birthday in March, so we’ve been doing something right! But this past winter season hit us hard so we’re crowdfunding to get the workshop set up. Our current space is small but mighty a second space means we can teach more people and become a more sustainable business.” says Director Jenni Gwiazdowski.
The second workshop will be a huge help in the summer when there’s more demand on classes and drop-in sessions. Currently LBK’s popular Build Your Own Bike (BYOB) class is sold out months in advance, and a new classroom will allow them to accommodate more students. It will also introduce capacity to carry out repairs for people who don’t have time to do it themselves. There are plans to start parent/child workshops, as well as OAP drop-in sessions.
“It’s difficult teaching our BYOB class alongside drop-in sessions. The second workshop will let us teach more one-on-one classes in a separate workshop, rather than simultaneously teaching drop-in students.” says LBK instructor and mechanic Seb Achaibou.
Volunteers have already been contributing to the cause an architect, electrician, and designer are already on board, and there are a number of people signed up to help with the cleanup and painting. More volunteers are welcome, and can get in touch with LBK to offer help.
“I really enjoy volunteering for the London Bike Kitchen and their Women and Gender-variant (WAG) Nights. We really see the difference in how people approach their bicycles after they learn more about them. It’s like a lightbulb has gone off in their head and they love their bikes more,” says Juliet Chard, WAG volunteer.
About the London Bike Kitchen:
LBK is a do-it-together open workshop in Hackney. They run dropin sessions and classes so that people can learn how to fix their own bikes. They also run a bimonthly Women and Gendervariant (WAG) Night. LBK believes that if people understand how their bikes work, they will be more likely to ride their bike one of the main objectives of the organisation. They work with the local community, charities, and schools in order to reach more marginalised people who want to learn how to take care of their bikes.
LBK opened in March 2012, and this March they celebrate their 4th birthday.