Call for more volunteers as social enterprise celebrates 10 years

Volunteer Trish Armitage of Sports Recycler, which is on the lookout for more volunteers.
Volunteer Trish Armitage of Sports Recycler, which is on the lookout for more volunteers.

A social enterprise is celebrating ten years of helping residents in South Tyneside to get ‘cycle’ happy.

Sports Recycler Ltd was the brainchild of Vince Glassock, who was stunned to see sports equipment which was still usable being dumped.

It is such a rewarding and worthwhile project

Trish Armitage

He set about creating an enterprise which would collect used equipment, repair it, then sell it on.

Over time, it was discovered it was bikes people wanted.

Now, 10 years on, the social enterprise has become so successful it now needs more volunteers to help keep up with demand.

Sports Recycler – a not-for-profit social enterprise – currently has one volunteer in the workshop ensuring bikes are safe enough to sell on and one office volunteer.

Volunteer Trish Armitage said: “We have had lots of volunteers over the years who have donated their time to helping us and we are so grateful for the time they have donated.

“But as life changes for them, whether it was family commitments or finding work, they were unable to carry on.

“We are now down to just one lad, Keith Thompson, working in the workshop.

“We could really do with more people to come forward to help both in the workshop but also with the customer service side of things.”

Sports Recycler provides a range of services including selling recycled refurbished bikes at low cost, unchecked bikes for those wanting to have their own bike DIY project and bike parts.

It also carries out bike maintenance and repairs and offers a range of bike trailers for hire, support on bike ride transfers for the C2C and hire bikes with helmets and locks provided free of charge.

Trish added: “We are really keen to hear from people who already have a bit of bike knowledge as they will be helping people to choose a bike and to offer advice.

“For those wanting to be in the workshop, a working knowledge of a bike is required.

“The bikes are all sold at an affordable price to the public, helping those who would otherwise not be able to afford a bike.

“It is such a rewarding, worthwhile project and over the years our volunteers have grown so much in confidence, they have then gone on to secure a job elsewhere.

“And all the money we raise through the sale of the bikes goes back into the social enterprise.”

“We are currently only open on Thursdays and Saturdays but we would love to be open more, but until we have more volunteers it is something we are unable to do.”

Anyone who is able to donate some of their time is asked to contact Trish on 0191 427 4615 or email

Sports Recycler is based at 307-310/312 South Shields Business Works, Henry Robson Way in South Shields.

Anyone who wants more information can visit