Bikeworks is a Community Interest Company; this means that any profits or trading surpluses are ploughed back into the community it serves. This means there's no fatcat directors or shareholders exploiting the workers and creaming off the profits. They've been trading for a few years, picked up a few awards now and seem to have grown to encompass three sites now.
They refurbish bicycles and see they get used again. There's a number of other strands to the enterprise which supports cycling around London. You might think this is worthy enough (which on it's own, it is!) but they go a step further and this is what makes it even more worthwhile. Lifted directly from their website is the following:
Bikeworks operate as an 'intermediate labour market', this means we offer work opportunities to individuals who would not be able to begin, or sustain mainstream employment without intensive support.
By providing these supported opportunities at Bikeworks, we can offer a real employment experience, accredited training and a work reference. This opportunity is important for those people who have been isolated from the work place for a long time and for those that have little or no work experience.
Another facility that caught my eye is the All Ability Cycling Clubs that are dotted around. This gives a real opportunity for those who might ordinarily miss out on the joys of cycling. The clubs give opportunities for people with a disability to try out different kinds of bikes in a safe manner. Looks like their carers are welcome too. That's good.
They also sell bikes (new and refurbished) and offer cycle training, bike hire, maintenance courses etc. Certainly it looks like a growing organisation with a social conscience, which is brilliant. I can tell you, I wish I could go and say "hello" personally but whenever I visit London I'm normally dashing around Westminster, Pimlico and Victoria on business. I'll just have to see what I can do next time I'm in town.....
Here's their website: http://www.bikeworks.org.uk/index.php