Big Bike Revival recognised in The Big Issue top award
At the start of each year, The Big Issue publishes a list of innovators, creators and radical thinkers who they believe will be making positive impacts on the world in the year ahead.
Because 2020 was such an exceptional year, their list, published last week (4 January) shines a light on the people and groups who did important work to help others through the difficulty of 2020, as well as those they think will be key to making change in 2021.
As the need to protect the planet against the climate crisis has never been more important, Cycling UK was recognised in the environment category.
We wanted to make sure that those who wished to cycle were given as much support as possible to make their day, just that little bit easier
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK chief executive
Cycling UK chief executive, Sarah Mitchell said: "It's fantastic to be recognised by The Big Issue for our Big Bike Revival project.
"When the pandemic began, we saw the enormous difficulty and risk that health and key workers faced, just getting safely to work.
"We know that cycling is a great method of transport. Not only is it good for the environment – we saw a huge drop in air pollution during the first lockdown – but it’s also good for our health and wellbeing. You can also more easily socially distance - and it's free.
“We wanted to make sure that those who wished to cycle were given as much support as possible to make their day, just that little bit easier."
Back in May 2020 in response to the coronavirus crisis, Cycling UK launched free essential cycling services and repairs for key workers in England and Scotland.
Delivered by bike shops and mechanics' workshops with funding from the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland, Cycling UK was able to help 7,800 key workers on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus to get free bicycle repairs, loans and equipment.
In recognition of the significant contribution NHS staff and key workers made to keeping the UK safe, Cycling UK also offered those who cycle a free 6-month membership which included free third-party insurance and legal advice to help ensure they are protected too.
As the country continues to respond to the coronavirus crisis, Cycling UK has committed to extending the Big Bike Revival scheme in England via Dr Bike sessions delivered by mechanics in local communities for everyone, and at workplaces over the summer and into winter 2020.
These sessions are available nationwide and anybody can access the upcoming events - including children - to help build on the cycling habits of the next generation. We will also be running Dr Bike sessions in schools for the first time, enabling young people to get their bikes fixed up so that they can participate in confidence-boosting Bikeability training.