Meet our volunteers: Dilys Gartside, volunteer campaigner

Dilys Gartside
Dilys is an enthusiastic cycle campaigner based in Dorset
Here we meet Dilys Gartside, a passionate cyclist and member of Cycling UK who is using her enthusiasm to motivate others to take up cycling

Full name, occupation, area you live in and name of group or activity you support

My name is Dilys Gartside. I am a cycling instructor and campaigner, based in North Dorset. I am an active supporter of the Dorset Cyclists' Network. 

What made you decide to volunteer your skills with Cycling UK or a Cycling UK registered group?

My passion for cycling, discovered at grand age of 25, never having had a bike as child. I changed careers from being a solicitor for 30 years to full-time cycling instructor in my early 50s.

Which activity or activities do you support?

I lead rides, teach adults and children to cycle and give presentations to groups on my cycling touring experiences. I also campaign for safer facilities for cycling and am a Parish councillor responsible for highways. When I moved here in 2014 I was instrumental in setting up an adult training scheme for Dorset residents. I was also fully involved in opening a missing link ‘Little Lane’ in North Dorset.

What is the greatest challenge you have encountered?

Restoring a disused highway as a missing link to North Dorset Trailway by obtaining European funding under Rural Tourism Support.

Two cyclists on Little Lane in North Dorset
Becky Reynolds of campaign group Bricycles

Describe a typical day in your volunteer role

Two hours nurturing a 60+ year old to cycle followed by a site meeting with a Highways officer. My day may well also include speaking to a WI meeting about my cycle touring, such as my trip from the Orkneys to the Isle of Wight aged 61, wild camping with a tent.

Of all the tasks you have helped with, what are you most proud of?

Giving people encouragement and confidence to give cycling a go and watching their joy in success.

Using the gifts I have been given for the benefit of many

Dilys Gartside, Volunteer campaigner

What do you get out of the experience of volunteering?

Using the gifts I have been given for the benefit of many.

How has volunteering enhanced your passion for cycling?

My life and thoughts revolve around my passion for the simplicity of cycling as transport.

Could you describe your volunteering experience in three words?

Make a difference.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Cycling UK or its local groups supporting cycling?

Share your love of cycling with those that have missed out … so far.