STAFF at a bike charity in the Capital have said they are “gobsmacked” after their crowdfunding campaign smashed its £10,000 target in a matter of days.
Last Thursday, the Bike Station launched a two-week campaign to bring in enough cash to keep it afloat over the festive period after a devastating fire earlier this year.
But just four days after going live, the online crowdfunding page has already hit its target and it is now hoped the total could even be doubled.
Manager Steve Hynd, 47, said he was “totally blown away” by the support shown by members of the public.
He said: “I knew we had a lot of followers but I had no idea how generous they would be, really supporting us getting back on our feet.
“It’s going to make the world of difference.
“We have been constructing two workshops within our warehouse.
“Hitting the target so fast means we can get the workshops up and running [and] can start courses again a lot sooner than we thought we’d be able to.
“Everybody is gobsmacked. It’s just amazing to know that there’s so many people out there who’ve got out backs.”
The charity, based on Causewayside, was forced to move into temporary premises after a blaze in October caused tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of damage.
It is not yet known what caused the fire, which saw many of the charity’s recently restored bikes damaged beyond repair.
Also among the stock which was destroyed was a “landmark” 50,000th bike recycled by the charity.
The money raised so far will now mean the Bike Station team should be able to get their bike maintenance workshops up and running in January.
Cash will also be spent on some new bike-specific tools to aid the sessions, as well as products such as work benches for people to store the tools while working on bikes.
Steve said these practical items would be a real help after the team had been forced to make do with what they had following October’s fire.
He added: “It’s like being thrown on to a desert island with no tools and trying to work out all the things we took for granted in our other building that we just don’t have access to like work benches and that sort of thing.
“Things like that are crucial – you can’t work on a bike while holding all your tools all the time.”
As the Bike Station team hit £10,000 before the two weeks of fundraising were up, they have now been able to “stretch” their campaign to a £20,000 target.
Steve said cash donations had varied, with smaller donations of £5 all the way up to £500. He said: “I’m speechless and quite emotional that folk want to help us that much and support us with that sort of help. It’s amazing that people have given so much so quickly.”
To make a donation, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/surviving-after-fire.