Press Release – March 2019

Newtown charity celebrates 1000th donated bike

Wellington charity ReBicycle EkeRua is quietly celebrating this week after it received the 1000th donated bike since the project started in 2016. Of those about 650 have been fixed up and given to former refugees, migrants and others in the community, while about 30 are part of the ‘bike library’ which is leant to adults trying bike commuting, students doing cycle skills or for family events.

The Newtown bike workshop, located at 230 Riddiford St (the old petrol station) has had a stunning year since the doors opened at the beginning of 2018. Mechanical Tempest and ReBicycle EkeRua share the workshop space which is generously provided rent-free by the owners.

Mechanical Tempest is a volunteer-run community bike workshop. The site in Newtown has given them the opportunity to help hundreds of people from all over the region gain bicycle maintenance skills and get their bikes road-ready.  The workshop has been consistently busy all year with four open evenings each week.

ReBicycle Hilary and Helen
SWIS students Hilary and Helen with their new bikes

ReBicycle EkeRua has also had a busy year, running over 60 fix up events at the workshop and a dozen kids bike rodeo and family events around the Wellington region.

Coordinator Tessa Coppard says, “The rodeo events are a great opportunity for us to connect with the community and help kids to improve their cycling skills while checking their bikes are safe. We often see those same children in schools when we drop off our library bikes to support cycle skills training or out and about on bikes that we’ve given them. It’s great to see the independence and confidence it gives them”.

 

Tessa added that “Everything we do is made possible by our generous supporters and an awesome team of volunteers”. Helmets are donated by the Wellington City Council, to those who need them and locks or accessories are bought with proceeds from bike sales or donations.

Last year ReBicycle added EkeRua to their name; this name was given to them by Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder and means ‘to jump on a bike again’.

“We’re incredibly grateful for this name and feel it reflects our kaupapa perfectly” says trustee, Mike Townsend. “Eke can also mean to achieve or overcome, and that’s certainly what we see when people come in and learn to fix their own bikes, or kids learn to ride, or former refugees have been given a bike to help them go to courses or work”.

Together the two organisations want to thank the owners of the site, and also Wellington City Council and all the community groups who have collaborated on events for all their support this year.