We thank our volunteers for Going the Extra Mile

Awesome volunteers from Cycling Minds community cycle club in Hexham receive their Going the Extra Mile award certificates. Photo: Cycling UK
Volunteers’ Week 2022 provided the ideal time to highlight the work and dedication of our fantastic volunteers, who work tirelessly to help promote Cycling UK’s aim to get a million more people cycling

With Volunteers’ Week 2022 providing the perfect opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to our amazing volunteers, we were delighted to award dozens of our community cycle club members Going the Extra Mile certificates in recognition of their incredible efforts to get more people cycling, especially in the wake of extra challenges brought about by the pandemic.

They turn up week in week out to organise and lead rides, to fix people's bikes, to set up systems and processes behind the scenes and perform many other essential but little-recognised tasks – all to encourage, enable and inspire others to enjoy cycling. They devote many hours of their free time in order to do so.

None of them expect any reward or recognition for their efforts, but Cycling UK believes that a well-deserved pat on the back goes a long way to encouraging our volunteers to keep up the good work and motivate others to join them.

Which is why we sent out more than 50 Going the Extra Mile certificates of thanks and appreciation to our volunteers during this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which took place from 1 to 7 June.

The recipients included an impressive 27 volunteers from Cycling UK-affiliated Aigburth Community Cycle Club in Liverpool, who were nominated for certificates of thanks for helping to lead rides and enabling more people in Liverpool to cycle more.

The group offers free cycle rides led by local trained volunteers. The routes vary from five to 20 miles, catering for all levels of confidence on a bike and are supported by Cycling UK’s cycling development officer Magdalena Cichocka.

In the West Midlands, volunteer ride leaders and bike mechanics from some of our Birmingham-based community cycle clubs were thrilled to receive their awards from our cycling development officer in the area, Vanessa Morris, who presented them all at the church where the New Routes Bike Project has its workshop.

Vanessa says: “Anji, vicar of the church, was delighted that we did the presentation there and there were lots of people at the centre that day as it was a bike workshop drop-in session; they also had arts and crafts and their café was open too, so lots of people saw me and the volunteers.”

I am so proud of the time they all put into volunteering with Cycling UK

Vanessa Morris, Cycling UK cycling development officer for Birmingham

She added: “I am so proud of the time they all put into volunteering with Cycling UK. They are so dedicated and enthusiastic and it is a pleasure to call them our Birmingham volunteers.”

In return, Sam, who is from Handsworth community cycle club and was nominated for her continued commitment to teaching people to cycle and her passion for the programme, says: “It was really nice to be recognised and valued.” Jack, a volunteer bike mechanic for New Routes, added that “it was good to be appreciated” for all the time he, Steve and Tony give to the bike project.

Giving hours of their own time

Other awards were given to a variety of our other community cycle clubs, including Lauren from Nottingham Bikeworks Better By Bike, who was nominated for “leading the group rides every week and inspiring us to get on our bikes too”.

Tom, Jude, Linz, Matthew, Carol, Bob, Anne-Marie, Jeff and Joanna from Cycling Minds community cycle club in Hexham were nominated by Toby Price for “a variety of activities from weekly involvement in servicing customers’ bikes and helping train other volunteers on bike maintenance to putting in shifts at The Link community cycle hub to building IT systems and helping with all things HR-related to coordinating all our kit donations and a bike-lending scheme for Ukrainian refugees” and much more.

Bill and Dave from Linskill Riders, which runs rides out of Newcastle upon Tyne, were thanked for going above and beyond at Dr Bike events and supporting people to get back on their bikes, while fellow volunteers Kim and Colin were nominated for “supporting new riders so brilliantly and becoming an excellent ride leader”, as well as “sharing their skills and local knowledge” respectively.

They were also awarded certificates of appreciation for giving hours and hours of their own time to get people’s bikes back up and running and also for taking the group ride leader course with Cycling UK and leading a ride with the group.

Week in, week out

Lawrence and Barry from the nearby Teams Wheelers in Gateshead are equally dedicated to helping other people enjoy the wonderful benefits of cycling.

Their commendations state that Lawrence is being recognised “for being there week in week out, no matter the weather or how many people turn out”, while Barry is “the go-to man for bike-fixing, leading rides and always encouraging people to ride and push their boundaries”.

Passion, vision and drive

Cycling UK-affiliated The Jo Cox Way organises an annual ride from West Yorkshire to London to bring people together through cycling, showing we have #MoreInCommon and raising funds for @JoCoxFoundation, in the wake of the MP’s murder in 2016.

Sarfraz, Deborah, Neil, Iran, Clare, Ben and Dave were all nominated for certificates of appreciation by senior project officer Lynnette Evans for their various voluntary roles within the group, including “for having the passion, the vision and the drive to seize a moment amid national grief to create a riding event to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP” and for using their professional media skills to promote the rides.

Deborah says: “I received the certificate when I was off ill with Covid and it really perked me up. We all give up our time to help others and expect nothing in return, but the certificate did bring a smile and conjured up all those fab memories from the times spent working together on the Jo Cox Way. Thank you! “

Clare posted an image of her certificate on Twitter, saying: “Got this lovely certificate from @WeAreCyclingUK for helping with @thejocoxway Thank you – it’s appreciated and I’ll get out for a celebration ride seeing as it’s #BikeWeek2022.”

Finally, Darren, Nienke and Chris from the MTB Collective in Plymouth were also awarded certificates of appreciation for setting up the Community Interest Company that uses mountain biking to improve outcomes for people from across Plymouth, with the aim of improving the understanding of how maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle can lead to positive future outcomes.

Together, they have offered “fantastic and often life-changing free activities for children across Plymouth for over two years”, while fellow volunteers from the MTB Collective Katie, Dan, Steve P, James, Claire, Steve S and Byron received a certificate of thanks for “all of the hard work they put into their rides, and for being an inspiration to all the children they work with”.

Roll of Honour

All these amazing volunteers will see their names appear on our Roll of Honour, alongside the many other awardees from all our groups, clubs and projects that are living and breathing our values and helping millions more people to cycle.

Get involved

Do you know somebody who deserves some recognition for their voluntary role in enabling other people to enjoy the benefits of cycling? Our Going the Extra Mile awards are the perfect way to show them some appreciation for all they do.

What are our Going the Extra Mile awards?

Thank you certificates

These can be given to anybody who has performed a voluntary task that has benefited cycling in some way.

Certificates of appreciation

These are aimed at anyone who has truly ‘Gone the Extra Mile’ for cycling – perhaps a long-standing group secretary or treasurer, or somebody who has organised a large event for many years that has enabled lots more people to cycle.

You can nominate somebody to receive this award at any time of year. If successful, the nominee will receive a certificate, which can be presented at a particular event to mark this very special occasion. They will also receive a thank you card from Cycling UK’s chief executive and one of our Going the Extra Mile badges.

Lifetime achievement awards

These are certificates for individuals or groups that have been completing voluntary tasks with Cycling UK for at least a certain number of years as follows:

  • 10 years: Bronze award
  • 20 years: Silver award
  • 30 years: Gold award

They will also receive a thank you card from Cycling UK’s chief executive and a Going the Extra Mile badge.

Roll of Honour

Everyone who is awarded a Going the Extra Mile honour will appear on our Roll of Honour.

How to request an award or certificate

To nominate somebody for any of the above awards or certificates, please contact the Volunteering Team.