On Saturday 15th November 2014, Julian House opened their third social enterprise bike workshop. Stephen Williams, the MP for Bristol West and Undersecretary of State for Communities and Local Government, was there to open the workshop.
The bike workshop in Bristol is closely modelled on similar Julian House social enterprises in Bath and Trowbridge. Vulnerable individuals, mainly with a history of homelessness and/or addiction issues, are given the opportunity to gain job skills and specialist training on bike maintenance. Donated second-hand bikes are carefully refurbished and sold to the public – along with quality second hand parts and accessories. All profits are either reinvested into the business or used to provide other front line homeless/addiction services.
Simon Brand, the charity’s Social Enterprise Area Manager, is excited by the prospects for Julian House Bike Workshop in Bristol – “Our original bike workshop started out in a very modest way – a few bikes were renovated in the back yard of our offices. It was something that the clients enjoyed and where possible we allowed them to take the machine away – very empowering when you are at the bottom of society’s pile. From there it developed into a business which now gives lots of clients valuable work experience. Customers should feel justifiably proud that their support will give real opportunity to some of the most marginalised members of society and help to fund other front line homeless and addiction services.”