We know what big impact looks like and what the research says about how to get it.
Supporting the Sector
During the early days of the pandemic, we participated in numerous online calls, forums, town halls and surveys with our fellow non-profit organizations to understand the needs of our sector and how we might be able to help agencies who are addressing basic needs for our participants and their families.
Hosting and participating in events is our opportunity to connect with our broader community. It’s a way to make new relationships and partnerships, share what we’re learning and learn from others. We weren’t able to participate in as many events this year, but we managed to find creative ways to connect virtually. Throughout the year we participated in many calls, forums, town halls, webinars and surveys with fellow non-profits to offer support and collaborate on solutions. We used our platform to share important messages and what we were learning with our community. We’re hopeful we can get back to in-person events and celebrations soon, but we’re glad we’ve still been able to find ways to connect with our community.
Building the Board
Changes were made at the board level too. The HR/Governance Committee took time to gather feedback about the board member recruitment process and improve the process for both the board and those applying to be members. We ensured alignment with our values, considered what skills we needed and worked hard to attract diverse candidates to the positions. We spent many hours improving our onboarding process and overall board member volunteer experience. Our committees worked to define their terms of reference and scope of work for the coming year. These improvements in the board member experience were led by the vision that once board members have completed their tenure with TWV, that they look back on their experience with fondness, gratitude and pride.
Volunteer hours collected in 2020. Though we had less in person help in the shop, we kicked off our Wrench At Home program.
Two Wheel View runs with the help of 13 team members. We’re grateful for our small but mighty team.
Number of hours spent working from home this year.
Number of participants who attended our first ever virtual Shift Into Winter event.
With so many of our events and programs on pause this year, there were fewer opportunities to engage volunteers. We shifted to an at-home bicycle maintenance model with a few of our volunteers, and we began exploring gaps in our volunteer opportunities.
Wrench at Home Program
When our shop couldn’t accommodate as many volunteer mechanics as before, we worked with a number of our amazing volunteers to support them in wrenching from home. Not only did this provide tremendous support for our Bike Club program and social enterprise, it also provided our volunteers with connection and a sense of purpose during this challenging time for our collective mental health. We’re exploring the viability of continuing this volunteer program going forward, particularly through the colder winter months, as it frees up more space at our location to host youth, run our bike shop and gives volunteers the flexibility to stay at home during bad weather.
Diversify the Shop
We want to ensure our space is welcoming for youth and adults alike and helps those who face barriers to a life on two wheels overcome them. We know visibility is an important factor to attract new cyclists and volunteering provides the opportunity to stay engaged in the bike community. We are actively working on programs that encourage and support WTFnB and folks of all ethnicities and abilities in our programs and volunteer opportunities. Thanks to our GEAR UP campaign in the fall of 2020, we were able to kick off our very first women, trans, femme, non-Binary (WTFnB) Bike Club for youth. It might be the first, but it's certainly not the last.
“Being able to have a safe workplace with people while COVID is here. Then getting to know them and the bikes. Practicing work and sustainability at the same time.”
- GAP Graduate
“I learned I have a lot of talent and potential that can be used to help others if it is used in the right way.”
- Bike Club Participant
One of the key lessons of the pandemic was the importance of our connection to one another. This was particularly hard to do when our biggest program partner, the local schools, shut down abruptly in the spring and students were no longer allowed to get together in groups. We worried about a transition to online as we know that in-person, hands-on, multi-session programs have been shown to be the most impactful for youth. We were also concerned about online programming as many of the youth we work with don’t have reliable internet access or devices at home. However, instead of getting stuck, we tried to think outside the box to connect with our youth. We learned about new video techniques, online platforms and virtual games to engage participants in our new virtual Bike Club programs which focus on growing the community, exploring our neighbourhoods and bike safety.
We are so grateful for our champions, our amazing teachers and our fellow agency staff at organizations like Trellis and CCIS for their help in making the connections with youth and helping them access this new way of doing Bike Club.
“When Kayla joined our team just over a year ago, we set her up with the first bike she had owned in her adult life! Fast forward to a year later, and she's added another bike to her two wheeled family.”
- TWV Team Member