Volunteer Handbook


Thank you for signing up to volunteer with Frome Community Bike Project (FCBP)! Volunteers are the heart and soul of this Project. Your time, energy and skills keeps the wheels of the Project turning.

Before you start volunteering, please read this document in full and complete the online volunteer agreement form. This confirms that you have read, understood and agree with its contents. You will then be given a tour of the premises and directed to a task you feel comfortable doing.

If you have any questions about the contents of this handbook, the workshop, or anything else related to the Project, please ask for guidance from a workshop coordinator. If they can’t answer your question, they will direct you to someone who can!

About Us

We aim to help people from all walks of life get out on two wheels and for it to be an inclusive and empowering experience. We take unwanted, donated bicycles destined for landfill. We service, repair and re-sell them at fair and affordable prices to people within our community whose lives would be greatly improved through accessible, affordable and sustainable transportation. We promote skill-sharing and independence, helping everyone at FCBP to build bicycle maintenance and mechanics skills in an inclusive, non-judgemental, vibrant and supportive workshop environment.

Our work helps to support Frome’s Missing Links and we generate money from our workshop, where we overhaul donated bikes, carry out services and repairs for members of the public, and run maintenance courses and cycle confidence classes amongst other things!

The Premises

The Toilet is on the ground floor of the main building and is accessed through the doors front or rear.
The workstations and tools in the workshop are for use by staff only. Volunteers will be able to use workshop tools and stands under supervision and after adequate training in their use.
Fire exits are clearly marked.
Drugs will not be tolerated on FCBP premises at any time.
Alcohol is not permitted at FCBP when a workshop is in progress
Smoking is not permitted in the workshop or anywhere on Station Approach property.

Who does what?

Volunteers: Work on various aspects of the project, fixing bikes, coordinating workshops, maintaining the premises, youth work, admin tasks, as well as promoting FCBP at events. Some of our Directors and some Ops Group Representatives are also volunteers.

Workshop Coordinators: Are responsible for the safe, effective running of the workshop sessions. Please go to your Workshop Coordinator with any queries or problems.

Directors: Share overall legal and financial responsibility for the Project, act as a protector of our values and purpose, and bring valuable expertise and experience to support the overall smooth running of the Project.

Staff: We have staff working on bike sales, repairs and services, and office staff working on coordination of various aspects of the Project

Volunteering with us

We have a number of different volunteer roles, but most of them will involve the following tasks:

  • Stripping down, preparing and repairing bicycles
  • Sorting through and assessing the stock of used parts
  • Maintaining a tidy workshop, returning unused tools, cleaning at the end of the session.
  • Working within health and safety practice
  • Working alongside our project users ensuring they have an enjoyable and valuable experience working on bikes or out participating in cycling activities
  • We also encourage volunteers who are able and willing to get involved in sharing responsibility for how things are run here at the Project

We encourage you to commit to a regular volunteer session every week. This helps us to provide a consistent service and allows you to get the most out of being part of our community. Please arrive at the beginning of the session (morning or afternoon) and stay until the end, helping to clean up the workshop. As a workshop volunteer, you can help out at any of our sessions

We also welcome volunteers to take on all kinds of other activities such as finance, communications, even gardening! If you have a skill you think would be helpful, please let us know! We are currently looking to develop the following areas in particular: fundraising, marketing and business development, overseeing improvements to the premises and facilities.

What can you expect from volunteering with us?

Volunteering with FCBP means becoming part of our lovely, extended family of people passionate about the Frome community and the difference having a bicycle can make to people’s lives. But that’s not all, here’s a run down of the many benefits we offer our volunteers. Please keep an eye out for the volunteer email updates, and workshop notices for news and updates!

Training and support. You will receive ongoing training and support in each session from the workshop coordinators who can demonstrate particular tasks and answer questions. We also encourage skill-sharing between volunteers by buddying-up to work on bicycles in pairs. After you have been volunteering regularly for two months, you will be eligible to apply for our dedicated training sessions which cover mechanical skills and wider understanding of the Project.

Role development and paid work. We regularly have openings for Workshop Coordinator roles – both paid and unpaid – which we advertise first to volunteers and members. We are always happy to provide job references for work outside of the Project for committed volunteers.

Socials. We aim to provide a welcoming and sociable space at the Project, where we hope you will meet and make friends with lots of lovely people who share your love for bikes. We also organise a number of socials throughout the year to which all FCBP family and friends are invited!.

Feedback. If you have any feedback on the way we do things or ideas about how to improve it, please do let us know or email [email protected] 

Our Policies

To ensure the workshop is a safe space for all, it is vital that everybody understands and commits to our Safer Space and Health & Safety policies.

Safer Space Policy

FCBP is a space for learning, skill-sharing and empowering yourself and others around you. This workshop is an inclusive, safe space for all, where everyone will be treated with equal respect. We require that all people entering this space respect this and treat each other accordingly.

We will not tolerate any form of discrimination, or any behaviour which makes other people feel excluded, vulnerable or threatened. This includes, but is not limited to, discrimination based on race, age, gender, sexuality, faith, disability, and social background. We reserve the right not to work with anyone who acts in a threatening way or we believe to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you encounter such behaviour, please speak up! It is everyone’s responsibility to keep this space safe and welcoming to all. If you don’t feel comfortable challenging certain behaviour, ask the Workshop Coordinator.

You may be asked to leave the premises if it is felt that you are violating this safe space. The workshop is also a no swearing zone.

Our Health and Safety Policy

In case of a fire: Raise the alarm by shouting ‘FIRE FIRE’. Leave the building quickly and calmly and assemble in the yard ensuring that your co-workers leave at the same time as you. Call the Fire and Rescue Service by dialling 999. There are fire extinguishers in the workshop and container stores. Do not re-enter the building. 

First aid kit: Should you happen to have an injury whilst in the workshop, please inform one of the workshop coordinators who will direct you towards the first aid kit. Any injury must be noted in the Accident Book. Frome Community Hospital has a minor injuries Unit and in more serious cases an ambulance should be called.

Hazardous substances: Oils, and cleaning fluids may cause skin cracking after prolonged exposure. Gloves and aprons are available.

Hand tools: The tools are here to be used by all. However, if you are unfamiliar with any of the tools and the way in which they are used, you must ask for assistance. Misuse of these tools can result in possible injury and damage to the tools.

Slipping tools: Injury can easily occur when tools slip. Always make sure that tools are firmly in place before applying force. If a part that you wish to remove seems to be seized, ask the Workshop Coordinator before risking injury or damaging the tools.

Using the work stand: Injury can occur if bikes are not correctly and firmly placed in the workstand. If clamping by the frame, make sure the frame has standard round tubing. If using the seatpost, make sure the seatpost clamp is tight. Make sure the stand clamp is as tight as you can make it.

Power tools: electric drills, grinder, welder, etc, and blowtorch MUST NOT be used without authorised supervision and proper personal protective equipment. Please ask the workshop coordinator if you need to use these.

Slips, trips and falls: Please ensure that walkways are kept free of obstructions (boxes, bike parts etc) at all times. Roller cabinet drawers must be closed after use. Please ensure that all spilt liquids are cleaned up immediately.

Wear appropriate footwear: Open sandals and flip-flops are not permitted in the workshop.

Manual Handling: There should be no need to lift heavy items in the workshop. Please only lift items which are within your capability and always ask for help if you feel unsure whether you can lift something easily.

Name Badge and work aprons: Please write your name on a strip of masking tape to stick on your apron, so we all know who’s who.

Thank you!