The Bristol Bike Project


Are you experiencing a long-term barrier to employment?
Would you benefit from access to affordable and sustainable transport?
Come and ‘earn-a-bike’ from us!

*** Please note: our Earn-a-Bike programme is not accepting any new referrals until after 1st September 2021 to allow us time to reduce the long waiting list for bikes. Please wait until after this date to contact us about referring yourself or someone else to the programme. This doesn’t apply to the Under 18s Young Person’s programme which is continuing to accept referrals. Thank you for your understanding while we work hard to repair and rehome bikes for those already waiting. ***

Here’s how it works…

You will work with one of our mechanics for up to three hours to refurbish a donated bike, learning basic mechanical skills in the process. The bicycle is then yours to ride away! Once you have your bicycle you can keep it running smoothly at one of our drop-in Fix-a-Bike workshops where volunteers can help you with repairs, free of charge.

As well as our standard Earn-a-Bike workshop, we run a dedicated workshop for anyone who would prefer a women-only space called Freedom of Movement. For those aged 8-18, you can book on for our Young Person’s Earn-a-Bike workshop.

Our Earn-a-Bike programmes emphasise empowerment and self-reliance, involving practical, hands-on engagement that functions as a bonding process between owner and bicycle. Since we started in 2008, well over 2000 bikes have been earned through the Project in this way.

Read on to find out about eligibility and booking requirements.


Wednesdays 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Womxn’s Night
(if you prefer a womxn-only space)
Monday 6.00pm – 9.00pm

After School Bikes
(if you’re aged 8 – 18)
Fridays 3.30pm – 6.00pm

*These workshops are drop in – no booking required 


Thursdays 10.30am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Freedom of Movement
(if you prefer a womxn-only space)
Tuesdays 10.00am – 1.00pm

Young Person’s Earn-a-Bike
(if you’re aged 8 – 18)
Fridays 3.30pm – 6.00pm.

*Booking is required for all of these workshops

"I heard from Bristol Refugee Rights that I could get a bike from The Bristol Bike Project and now I use my bike more than I thought I ever would. It's means a lot to me. I use it every day, to get to meetings, to church, to the library to read and to visit friends. It's saved me a lot of money not using the bus." James, from Gambia

How to book…

Our Earn-a-Bike programmes are available to anyone experiencing involuntary long-term unemployment (6 months or more). This may include people:

● seeking asylum or with refugee status
● with ongoing mental or physical health problems
● with learning difficulties
● who are homeless or in supported/sheltered housing
● undergoing a substance abuse recovery programme
● on probation

You may be referred through an organisation or refer yourself. We work in cooperation with over 50 organisations in and around Bristol, including Bristol Refugee Rights, Bristol Drugs Project, Second Step, Unseen, The Big Issue & various youth groups amongst many others.

To book a workshop, please come to the Project during our opening hours, or get in touch if you are unable to come in person. If you are under 18, you will need to come with a parent, guardian or support worker.

The bike and the workshop are both free. However, we ask for £20.00 to cover the cost of a good D-lock, a set of lights. This must be paid at the time of booking and is non-refundable in the event of a missed appointment (please call us to rearrange if you can no longer make your appointment).

By coming to this workshop, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions.


What does the workshop involve?

You will be guided through a practical session in basic bike maintenance skills. No prior experience is necessary, but this is an interactive session, so you’ll need to be prepared to get involved!

What kind of bike will I get?

This programme is made possible thanks to the generous donations of bikes we receive each week and the time and energy given by our wonderful volunteers. This means there is often a very limited choice of bikes available, but we work hard to ensure the bikes we prepare are practical and the right size.

What if I’m nervous riding a bicycle?

If you are not a confident cyclist, we recommend you sign up for the 3 free cycle skills sessions provided by Lifecycle. You are responsible for making your own way home safely. Please make transport provisions where needed.