Peter Cornish - Volunteer photographer

Peter Cornish taking photos
Volunteer photographer Peter Cornish captures riders on a press trip organised by Cycling UK to promote a new off-road route along the North Downs Way
With the world communicating ever more visually, it is vitally important that Cycling UK has a large stock of captivating diverse images of cyclists of all shapes, sizes and disciplines. Although we often use professional photographers, sometimes the costs can add up, that's where Cycling UK's volunteer photographers like Peter Cornish step in to help.

As a charity, we are therefore fortunate in having a number of willing and talented volunteer photographers we can also turn to to capture the occasional special event or ride. Peter Cornish from Sussex is one of them. Find out how he took on this role and how his images have helped us with our mission to encourage millions more people to cycle. 

What made you decide to volunteer your skills with Cycling UK?

Work supported a charity and each year I would undertake activities to help the organisation, including raising money. Having stopped working I was looking for other opportunities to use my skills to support charitable activities. I enjoy cycling and photography so the opportunity to become a volunteer photographer gave me the chance to combine the two activities to help a charity.

How much time are you able to commit?

The time commitment is driven by the assignment. For example my first assignment, to provide photographs to help promote the anniversary of the North Downs Way and the creation of a cycle route along it, involved a day to reconnaitre the route to identify suitable locations for the photographs. Then a couple of days later I joined the team from Cycling UK and a group of journalists to spend the day cycling the route, enjoying the sunshine and each others company as well as taking the photos.

Which activity or activities do you support?

The role isn’t that specific with opportunities being identified by the Cycling UK Communications Team. 

What is the greatest challenge you have encountered?

The Glow Ride in Southampton, which involved taking photographs in total darkness on Southampton Common. Flash wasn’t an option as the object was to capture the cycles decorated with Christmas lights.

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

With only two to choose from, the photos from the day on the North Downs Way are my favourites.

What do you get out of the experience of volunteering?

Seeing different areas and events. Cycling with new people and helping them with their activities.

How has volunteering enhanced your passion for cycling and do you have the

chance to get out more on your bike?

I have taken part in activities which I wouldn’t ordinarily have done.

Could you describe your volunteering experience in three words?

  • Challenging
  • Fun
  • Rewarding

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

The events I have attended have been well organised. I have been made to feel very welcome and have been kept up to date with how my work has helped Cycling UK.

Cycling UK's Sam Jones explains how Peter's help on the North Downs Way trip was an important part of the ride's success:

"Peter's work was an essential component to the launch of Cycling UK's Riders' Route on the North Downs Way.

"With a group of journalists each requiring different types of pictures, Peter's brief was wide and diverse, but as his photos have now appeared in Cycling Weekly, Singletrack and of course our own Cycle magazine, it was clear he was up for the task.

It's a rare combo to find a talented snapper who is also a cyclist, all of which meant we were able to get those special spontaneous shots along the route as well as at pre-arranged locations.

Sam Jones, Senior Campaigns and Communications Officer, Cycling UK

"It's a rare combo to find a talented snapper who is also a cyclist, all of which meant we were able to get those special spontaneous shots along the route as well as at pre-arranged locations.

"I can't thank Peter enough for his work, which went well beyond the call of duty - particularly as he was helping us out the day before he was heading off for a cycling holiday in Greece. Hopefully the miles he put in with us were all good training!"


Register your interest in becoming a volunteer

Current volunteer opportunities


Could you be a Volunteer Photographer?

Cycling UK is looking for volunteers to join our pool of event photographers. The volunteers will photograph cycle events, rides and activities organised by our cycling clubs and groups. The photos will be used on our website and in marketing materials used to showcase the groups' and volunteers' amazing work, and therefore support Cycling UK in inspiring more people to go cycling.   


The events and activities are at various locations, all over the UK. We will agree with each volunteer how far you would like to travel and can choose events close to you. 

When and how often

Ideally we would like you to volunteer once a month or for four events during the summer. 

About us

Cycling UK inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling. The fantastic support of our volunteers means that people can experience the joy of cycling with Cycling UK groups up and down the country, building their cycling confidence, improving their health and making friends. In addition, Cycling UK volunteers contributing their incredible skills and knowledge to support our central services are essential to us achieving our vision.

To find out more

Contact Gjoril Berg on 01483 238319 or complete the enquiry form