Celebrating our amazing volunteers in Volunteers’ Week

Four people are cycling along a paved path on a clifftop with a seaside town in the background. They're on a mix of bikes, including road, hybrid and folding. They're wearing normal clothes.
Volunteers are at the heart of many things we do as a charity. Photo: Peter Cornish, volunteer photographer
Cycling UK’s head of volunteering Alex Cuppleditch explains how our volunteers are essential in keeping our wheels turning, enabling more people to be active throughout the UK, and thanks them for the huge impact they make

We want to say a huge thank you to our volunteer network during the 40th annual celebration of Volunteers’ Week, which also happens to be the year of my own big 40th celebration!

Despite having experienced quite a turbulent year, with extreme external factors and significant internal changes, together we have achieved a lot over the past year. We have serviced 957 direct volunteers and recruited an amazing 94 new roles from all nations throughout the UK; these are volunteers directly managed by Cycling UK staff.

Among many other achievements, Cycling UK volunteers have:

  • Contributed towards making it safer to cycle in local areas
  • Enabled more people from disadvantaged communities to walk and cycle
  • Taken brilliant photos for our magazine, website and e-newsletters
  • Overseen many of our Facebook groups and forums
  • Coordinated challenges such as British Cycle Quest
  • Some have even contributed their skills and knowledge towards some of our new strategy and project work!

This coming year, we are hoping to see further developments and expansion of the direct volunteer network.

Alongside this network is a massive army of thousands of other volunteers active in their local communities – leading rides, organising groups, fixing bikes and many other tasks besides.

A man and a woman are kneeling down repairing bikes. The woman is holding a bike wheel while the man is looking on. She is wearing a pink headscarf, jeans and jacket. He's wearing blue overalls.

What motivates our volunteers?

We monitor the motivations of people applying for a role within Cycling UK, and you can see the main reason for volunteering with us is to help others, rather than their own wellbeing:

  • 50%: to support Cycling UK’s mission
  • 30%: to support my local community

To maintain this motivation, we provide regular tasks via our volunteer platform Assemble to our direct volunteers to keep them engaged. We also offer them the opportunity to connect with other members of their team via Assemble and each volunteer is connected to Cycling UK via a named staff member.

We also offer a reward and recognition programme called Going the Extra Mile to incentivise and recognise the achievements and endeavours of volunteers with badges, certificates and thank you letters from our chief executive, Sarah Mitchell.

Our volunteers are also supported by the knowledge that Cycling UK’s policies and procedures underpin their activities, and they are fully insured against their own liability, as long as they are registered with us.

An illustration of a pie chart showing Cycling UK volunteers' motivation for volunteering. The biggest slice of pie is 'To support Cycling UK to enable millions more people to cycle'

The value of our volunteers to Cycling UK

If we were to calculate the monetary value of our direct and indirect volunteers, it would no doubt come to hundreds of thousands of pounds annually.

When you consider the hours spent performing tasks such as sharing content, running group rides, leading health walks, moderating forums and Facebook groups, organising challenges, campaigning in local areas, taking photographs and much more, this adds up to an incredible amount of value for our organisation, not to mention the immeasurable wider benefit to society.

We want to say a huge thank you and express our deepest gratitude for all aspects of volunteering, whether small and large. We appreciate everything you do officially as part of your role for Cycling UK, but even more importantly, everything you do in the name of cycling provision, promotion, participation and encouraging societal change in your locality.

Thank you and keep on giving your time, effort and energy to help make the world better by bike.

Come and volunteer with us!

We are currently seeking more direct volunteers in the following roles:

You don’t need to be a Cycling UK member to apply but it does help if you are passionate about encouraging more people to cycle for the sake of their health, the environment and the wellbeing of society as a whole.

Don’t forget that local groups and clubs are always looking for volunteers to lead rides, sit on committees, help out at events and perform numerous other tasks to benefit the cycling community.