Liverpool lad’s award-winning commitment to getting people cycling

Ben Deakin leading a weekly ride for women
Ben Deakin on his weekly ride with ladies from the local Asian community
Ben Deakin on his weekly ride with ladies from the local Asian community

Liverpool lad’s award-winning commitment to getting people cycling

The North Liverpool Cycle Project (NLCP) is a Cycling UK-affiliated Community Cycle Club that delivers a number of activities aimed at increasing cycling in the north end of the City. The club is primarily run by volunteers, qualified in mechanics and leading rides. One of their youngest volunteers Ben Deakin has proved pivotal to the successful development of the project.

Ben Deakin, aged 20, is a passionate cyclist that volunteers his services five days a week to encourage more people within his community to take up cycling. Having been diagnosed with ADHD and ASD, Ben struggled to adapt at school and then dropped out of college. In need of a new focus, Ben offered his services to the NLCP (part of the Breckfield North Everton Neighbourhood Council) which has enabled him to share his love for bikes with others.

During his time with the NLCP, Ben has delivered regular guided rides for veterans, female-only rides, and rides and cycle maintenance sessions for young people from local neighbourhoods. Ben has been instrumental to the success of the BNENC’s annual Santa Cycle, often taking to the front and leading up to 300 cyclists along the Liverpool Loopline to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to deliver Christmas presents to poorly children.

Ben preparing to lead Liverpool’s annual Santa Cycle to Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Ben said, "I have been volunteering with the NLCP for over three years. I decided to do it as I am passionate about cycling and it was a great opportunity to learn new skills and help others to become more active. Leading others is helping me to become a better person.

On the whole, volunteering provides great opportunities to learn new skills and help others. It can be challenging and rewarding at the same time.  If anyone fancies giving it a try then I say go for it!

Ben Deakin, Volunteer 

“On the whole, volunteering provides great opportunities to learn new skills and help others. It can be challenging and rewarding at the same time.  If anyone fancies giving it a try then I say go for it!”

In addition to leading bike rides, Ben also fixes bikes at the NLCP’s regular Dr Bike sessions.  Learning cycle maintenance skills has enabled him to keep his own bike on the road and commute to work.  He likes to pass this knowledge on to others and recently worked with Merseyside Police to deliver training to young people as part of an eight-week bike recycling and MTB project. Once the participants refurbished their mountain bikes under the supervision of Ben and the project leader and mentor Nick Doyle.  Ben also led the group around a seven-mile off-road trail ride at Delamere Forest.

Ben putting his Cycling UK MTB Leader qualification to good use with members of the Anfield/Everton Community Mountain Biking Project

Chris Alston, Cycling Development Officer for Liverpool City Region said, “It was clear to see a shift in behaviour amongst the group and by the end the kids got to keep their bikes and thoroughly deserved them.

“Ben has been pivotal to the successful development of NLCP’s project. He is extremely passionate and enthusiastic about all things cycling and sets a great example to his community. We’ve seen Ben’s confidence grow considerably over the last 12 months and feel the best is yet to come from this talented young man.”

In recognition for his dedication to cycling and his local community, Ben recently received an award for Active Achiever of the Year at the inaugural Liverpool Sports Forum Sports and Physical Activity Awards.

Chris added, “Ben thoroughly deserves the recognition he received at the Liverpool Sports Forum Awards where he received an award for Active Achiever of the Year. He has delivered activities with a level of enthusiasm and professionalism that would usually be expected of people many years his senior. Congratulations, Ben!”

Find out more about becoming a volunteer

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