We often ask ourselves this very question! We’re a small company who works on a lot of different projects with one shared goal – to get #morepeopleonbikes. We often get asked questions like “are you a charity?” or “do you take donations?”. Sometimes we find that customers who use one of our services don’t know about all the other things we do – so this article is an attempt to change all of that. 

Firstly, what does Bike4Health do? 

Simply, we ride, repair, support, develop. We support riding activity in schools, with NHS trusts, private business customers and the public through our range of cycling activity provided by our skilled and qualified coaches. We repair – at our Benton workshop and HQ – this may be where many of you reading this first met us. We support organisations to adopt cycling as part of their culture. This can take many forms for example, we work with North Tyneside Council to develop their cycling infrastructure in a way that works for cyclists and other road users. We also support organisations like schools by up-skilling their staff to support their own guided rides. We also develop – our next generation of cycle-commuters, sports cyclists and world champions! Our holiday programmes are aimed at helping the next generation develop into one which adopts cycling as a means of enjoyment, active-travel, and sport. 

So how does it work?

Bike4Health is a CIC or Community Interest Company. We operate very closely to a normal limited company, we pay corporation tax and are registered with companies’ house, but we don’t have any shareholders – we aren’t focused on generating a profit for shareholders and owners. This allows us to re-invest any surplus revenue into projects many commercial businesses wouldn’t be able to. 

We don’t take donations and we don’t rely on funding from Cycling UK, the National Lottery or any other organisations (although we have done previously, we just don’t rely on any currently) so our model is holistic.

What our model looks like!

The most striking thing about our model is it is circular. There are no shareholders taking a share of profit and no inputs of funding from donors or funding bodies. Whilst we have taken funding for specific limited projects before, we don’t rely on funding for our day to day operations. The only output which doesn’t come back is any outreach or not for profit work we do. This might be us providing our expertise for free or heavily discounted for a particular project or to fund schools get more kids on bikes in disadvantaged areas. This means that every pound you spend goes to helping us get more people in our community cycling.

The diagram above shows our main three areas of operation – the workshop, our work in the regions schools, and other cycling services we provide to local business parks and the NHS. This doesn’t include any of our Space4Learning projects where we build outdoor tracks, roundhouses and treehouses to support our cycling projects in schools.

We think our model may be unique in the country – but we’d love to know if there is anyone out there doing anything similar! If you have any questions about how our model works, working with us, our services or anything cycling related you can get in touch with us directly via info@bike4health.org, workshop@bike4health.org or dan@bike4health.org.

Thanks for reading!