Project information

Up a Gear!

Common Wheel will support the recovery of more people with mental health problems, by increasing access to hands-on training activities in bike recycling and rebuild.
It seeks to increase capacity by refitting the workshop which offers the experience of a fully operational, working environment.

March 2011 - March 2012

Charity information: Common Wheel

Common Wheel logo
  • Need


    At least 1 in 4 of us experience a mental health problem at some time in our lives. It is hard to deal with these problems, especially when they bring stigma, isolation and powerlessness over decisions which affect our life. Mental health problems can cause people to withdraw from their family and friends and the wider community and have a direct, negative impact on physical health and wellbeing; loss of self-confidence, self-esteem and side effects of some medication makes everyday life hard.


    Common Wheel will offer more meaningful activity with a tangible outcome for trainees. This will help rebuild self-confidence and a sense of worth in having rebuilt a bike. The bikes are bought by customers from the wider community and trainees see them being ridden all over the city. This challenges negative attitudes associated with people's capacity and ability when they have a mental health problem and has a positive impact on trainees' belief in their own decision-making powers and skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Support the individual recovery needs of people with mental health problems.


    » Refit an existing industrial unit with more training stations and tools;
    » Offer 3 more Beginner's Build Your Own Bike training courses in the year.
    » Offer supported training experience to trainees who have completed our Bike Recycling and Rebuild course, to work with the wider public.

    What success will look like

    Success will be hearing feedback from trainees and their support workers about the practical impact of the project activities on other areas of their life.

  • Impact


    The project will increase the confidence and self-awareness of trainees to support them become more independent.
    This will be demonstrated by monitoring meetings with support workers and trainees and anecdotal feedback. Success will be demonstrated, for example, through individuals attending activity regularly , when before they could not leave their homes. It will be when trainees move onto other activity, within the project or elsewhere because they have believe they have the right to do so.


    There is the risk that we may not always be able to fund our activities. We are dealing with this by increasing our sales of recycled bikes in order to revolve this income back into core training.
    There is a risk that cuts in services may mean fewer people with mental health problems learn about our activity. we are managing this by keeping our profile high within mental health service networks, ensuring we have a profile at community events and appearing in the local media.


    Funders of this project will be asked how they would like to be informed and how often. we have the facility to email regular reports telling of activity plans, the project development and outcomes; we can document our work in DVD and CD, and make this available on the website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £74,048

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £25,000 Staff Costs Contribution to salary of workshop manager
      £12,514 Tools Purchase of tools and equipment for workshop
      £36,534 Refit upgrade and refurb of insutrial unit to make it fit for training purposes and fully compliant

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Robertson Trust £15,000 Guaranteed
    Endrick Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
    Awards for All £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The workshop sits in Maryhill, an area of multiple-deprivation bordering the north and west of the city of Glasgow. It is in an industrial unit which has excellent access to the adjacent canal, the cycle path and is close to the main roadway which goes through Maryhill to the east and west of the city.


    The project aims to benefit people with mental health problems and associated or follow-on conditions and circumstances.
    People in the local community will have the opportunity to access bike maintenance instruction in their neighbourhood and more people across the city will be able to access a recycled bike. People using the cycle path.
    In addition the city as a whole will benefit from the reduction in household waste to landfill since we take bikes for recycling.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    With a track record of ten years using meaningful activity to support recovery from mental health problems, we are well known across the city's mental health services.
    We are knowledgeable and experienced in the impact of mental health on the lives of individuals, families and communities and work closely with Glasgow Caledonian University to research the positive impact of meaningful activity on mental health recovery, to inform our own practice and share the results with others in the sector.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Neil McDonald

    Bike Training Officer, Neil has been involved with Common Wheel since it was founded in June 2001.

    Ken Ferguson

    Volunteer technician and service user,with a background in the design and building of wheelchairs.

    John O'Hara

    Retail and Enterprise Officer working to develop new bike prototypes and new streams of unrestricted income generation to fund core activities.

    Fiona Sinclair

    Project Manager of Common Wheel


Will pay for training and groupwork for one