The Volunteer Advisory Committee met for our 3rd time on Wednesday 21st at 6pm-7pm. We followed a structured agenda and shared a meal of pizza. We discussed a revolving leader to facilitate the meetings. We hope to promote the discussions from the committee following each committee meeting.


  • A personal/ business best from the previous week, to-dos completed from the previous week, shoutouts to great work
  • Tara on a double duty of working on a bike behind the counter: provided mechanic skills and manned the cash register
  • Donation jug now requests for input of feedback
  • dishes were done!
  • Al designed a tool to get feedback out of in-shop jug

Issue Processing:

There were two feedback items submitted through the website. There was feedback submitted into the on-site ‘suggestions’ box. We discussed some of the topics from the previous week and options to improve previously discussed feedback.

Volunteer Recruitment and Retention

  • Current initiative to connect with community organizations for groups
  • How to get more people in on a specific day
  • Better display of benefits of group volunteering on the website
  • The people who take the classes do not return to volunteer; why not?

Apprentice Wednesday Definition

  • there is some uncertainty regarding the inclusion of Apprentice Wednesdays. Who is invited, what can be accomplished, how good are these apprentices becoming?
  • Education: a lot of the people who take the classes, never return to volunteer; we spend a lot of time and energy training people, but they don’t stick around at the co-op to help with volunteers;
  • More scheduling for when people will be here on Wednesday for Apprentice Wednesdays


  • Could the shop class students have assigned homework whether it is reading or volunteer
  • Do the shop class users know that they should return to volunteer?
  • Do volunteers take the shop class?
  • Could there be avenues to becoming an industry-respected mechanic?
  • Do people understand that volunteering, taking a shop class and becoming an apprentice are steps toward gaining mechanic skills?
  • There are strong beliefs that better education would provide more safety for community cyclists
  • Without a strong commitment to education, cyclists may put themselves in a bike unsafe to ride

Benefit of the co-op

  • Do we ever ask people who come into the shop: what are you looking to obtain, and as a follow-up to their response ‘Here’s what we can do for you’
  • ‘Here is what you can do for us’, ‘here is what we can do for you’
  • Do others get a warm fuzzy feeling of helping people obtain bikes?
  • How do we communicate the marketing of accomplishing the mission of the co-op?
  • Even earn-a-bike or getting more bargain bikes available for sale

Improvement of the Experience:

  • Are people bored when they come here to volunteer? Is that why volunteers drop off?
  • Would more consistency, re-tasking, continuity of new tasks
  • Does fighting fires cause an poor experience for volunteers as well?
  • Could the passport be used as a tool to provide a pathway for learning new skills
  • Typically when a person has the aptitude, they might have disinterest in more monotonous duties
  • Social aspect of the co-op and improve cohesion

Definition of Passport:

There are 20 main tasks at the co-op; 10 of which are basic tasks, which anyone at the co-op could find themselves doing; The ast 10 are tasks that are obtained by going through the shop class. After completing the training in any task 3 times, the staff will sign off on that task/ skill. The volunteer will then be self-guided, self-initiating, an autonomous skill. That person would then be able to train other groups. The first time, trained; second-time, co-training; third time leading the training;

The execution of the passport training requires the commitment of the staff and trained volunteers. Eric believes that in 6 months to a year, the volunteers could provide the training without staff oversight.


Most of the 8 attendees rated the meeting as an 8 or above. Improvements to the meeting included meeting outside, salad rather than pizza, a social ride with beverages afterwards; but everyone agreed that we would like to see more individuals. Come and join us on September 4th at 6pm in the OCBC courtyard. Staff will be at a fix-a-thon, bring your feedback and problem-solving mindset.