Bootle Bike Shop – Dow Foundation Follow Up (November 2022)

On Thursday 3rd November, Michael Murray (Managing Director), Trevor Murray (Director), Irene Hopkins (Business and Community Liason Officer) and Owen Lea-Porter (IT Officer) met with Eddie and Steve from the Bootle Tool Shed to discuss their donation from the Dow Foundation.

Bootle Tool Shed which is a member of UK Men’s Sheds Association, provide a community space for men to connect, converse and create which helps reduce the effects of isolation and loneliness. 

The organisation that was formed in 2015 is a place where like-minded men get the opportunity to create and repair a wide range of objects including furniture, bird tables and even musical instruments!

From this desire to create and repair was formed the Bootle Bike Shop – borne from the need to repair one of the members bikes. Bike repair is a specialised skill and one that is in short supply. 

With the increase in bike usage driven by schemes such as “Bike to Work” and the increase in expenditure by local councils of the creation and expansion of bike networks, the need for bike repair has increased, and with this the Bootle Bike hop has seen a rapid increase for the need of their services.

Both Bootle Tool Shed and Bootle Bike Shop provide a unique service to the community beyond the mental health benefits to their members including:

  • Bike servicing. For many people, a bike is their primary mode of transport and the maintenance of it is therefore essential to ensure that they can get around, especially to work. 
  • Bike sales. The members of the Bike Shop will take donated bikes and fully service and repair them – and then provide these at competitive prices, or even free should someone require a bike who has very low / little income. 
  • Furniture repairs. For many people in the area, furniture can be expensive – and also something that in most cases can be repaired. The Bootle Tool Shed will take donated furniture and restore it to be re-used – and as the bikes they will offer these are competitive prices or even free.
  • Woodwork creation. The Tool Shed will also help their members create new woodwork items including bird tables / bird nests and furniture including beds. 

But for Eddie and Steve, any monetary value that comes from the repairs and sales of their labour is secondary to the mental health benefits both of the organisations provide.      

So Why Did The Dow Foundation Choose The Bootle Bike Shop For An Award?

For the Dow Foundation the Bootle Bike Shop covered so much of the criteria that the choice to offer them an award was pretty straight-forward.

Situated in the Strand in Bootle, at the very heart of our community, both of these organisations provide an essential service which helps both men improve their mental health as well as helping the people of the local community in providing much needed support in the form of bikes and furniture.   

  • The group were focusing on group that struggles to get regular funding from other sources
  • It helps a group of people that suffers from mental health issues due to social isolation
  • It’s a great opportunity to bring a group of individuals together to ensure that their mental and physical well being is maintained 
  • It supports a mens group – which historically don’t get as much funding as other groups
  • It supports a group of people who are at the heart of our community

How Much Did The Dow Foundation Award And What Was It Used For?

The group was awarded a donation of £300. 

When we asked the Bootle Bike Shop what they would like to spend their money on (either as a purchase of second hand bikes or for tools for the bike shop) Eddie advised they needed a new tool to fix bottom brackets on their bikes.

The tool, which is a specialised piece of equipment cost £300 but does allow the Bike Shop to provide full repairs and services on bikes. 

How Will The Award Benefit The Bike Shop?

By having this tool the Bike Shop can now provide a complete bike refurb and repair solution to allow them to not only provide a complete service to customers, but also to their own bikes which they sell on within the shop (and ones that they provide free of charge).

Bootle Bike Shop representatives accepting their donation from directors Michael and Trevor Murray at the Dow Foundation awards

Dow Foundation award to The Bootle Bike Shop