Championing diversity: why it matters

Cycling should be available to people from a wide variety of backgrounds
Cycling UK’s mission is to enable a million more people to cycle, but currently many groups are still underrepresented. Head of volunteering, Alex Cuppleditch explains how we're addressing this, and how you can find out about our new Diversity Champion role

An enhanced approach

We believe that people from all walks of life have the right to experience the benefits cycling offers and have made a commitment to increasing diversity, with the wider purpose of driving equality for everyone.

We are passionate about creating a volunteer network which promotes and values inclusivity. We are striving to ensure that it is representative of the UK population as a whole, and also reflects the communities we work with, ensuring our volunteer roles are accessible to everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, identity and ability; this will create a platform enabling everyone to have the possibility of accessing cycling, whoever they are.

One of our key aims is to grow a bigger, more diverse volunteer network. To date the volunteering department has:  

  • created a volunteering diversity action plan to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of everything we do.
  • proactively sourced and embedded imagery of diverse groups throughout our communications, where possible (if you would like to share your photos please do contact the communications team). 
  • built stronger partnerships with underrepresented groups, charities and organisations to obtain advice and guidance.
  • given all volunteers access to ‘Unconscious Bias’ training delivered by a specialist external organisation.
  • embedded diverse campaigns, non-traditional religious celebrations and key diversity dates into our communications calendar, for example LGBT History Month and Black History Month
  • encouraged a dialogue with underrepresented voices.
  • provided groups and individuals with a platform to tell their stories and share experiences through the website, magazine, social media, our Volunteer Celebration and the Women's Festival of Cycling.
  • celebrated and recognised groups and individuals promoting cycling to people from diverse communities, for example Cycling UK affiliate group Cycle Sisters and Cycling UK affiliate group Pride out 
  • created the volunteer role of Diversity Champion, and accompanying toolkit of resources, for all of our member and affiliate groups to ensure that people from all communities are made to feel welcome in cycling.

In addition, we are committed to being an ally and speaking out in support any of our groups and individuals who have experienced some form of discrimination or injustice, and are setting ambitious departmental targets to increase diversity. 

Next steps

We are aware that all this isn’t enough - there is so much more that we are yet to achieve. We are at the beginning of this journey and are open to change to create spaces for everyone to feel comfortable and confident to be able to cycle.

We will build on the above achievements and devise further ways of ensuring that our volunteering opportunities are available for all.

We promise to have a more proactive approach to diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation and will be making this a priority during the next strategic year.

How to get involved

We want to ensure that all of our groups appoint a Diversity Champion to support their development and growth - please get in contact with us to find out how to do this. 

If you have any feedback, or anything to contribute regarding diversity and inclusion, please contact us.