Cycling UK group Farcycles wins Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest accolade presented to a volunteer group in the UK and was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Farcycles is one of just 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award this year.
Founded in 2008, Farcycles is an Oxfordshire-based cycling organisation that actively promotes community participation in recreational cycling activity, as well as making it a lifestyle choice for local journeys. This is delivered through training activities, holding organised rides and events, together with playing a proactive role in the promotion of the physical, mental health and wellbeing benefits of cycling.
Farcycles aims to deliver cycling infrastructure improvements and influence the wider community, including policymakers, on the need to invest in cycling. They are passionate about the environment and ensure that all its activities and decisions are both sustainable and aligned to its strategic intent.
Making an impact
During the last year, a team of 135 dedicated volunteers has made a significant impact to Faringdon and its surrounding Oxfordshire and Wiltshire communities, including:
Over 4,000 visitors to the Faringdon Cycle Park that Farcycles raised funds for and built in 2019, the only facility of its kind in the UK
Refurbished and sold over 200 donated bikes, and supplied them back into the community from its pop-up shop in Faringdon – this proved a popular service for the town during lockdown and continues to thrive
- Successfully launched and delivered a ‘Couch to 10k’ back-to-cycling course for adults, alongside the delivery of its cycling tuition for children
- Hosted the Tour de Farcycles cyclosportive for over 200 cyclists
- Organised Faringdon’s Pink Bike OVO Women’s Tour celebrations
- Continuously lobbied for improved transport infrastructure with safe cycle routes
Representatives of Farcycles will receive the award crystal and certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire later this summer and two volunteers from the group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022.
We are absolutely delighted to win The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which helps shine a light on our hard working group of volunteers
David Williamson, founding member of Farcycles
Founding member of Farcycles, David Williamson, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which helps shine a light on our hard working group of volunteers in addition to our vision that every child and adult has the opportunity to learn to cycle in safety, and then to continue to enjoy cycling and all its benefits. The major barriers to cycling are safe roads, affordable bikes and confidence.”
Breaking down the barriers
The Farcycles group is proactively addressing these barriers through the model village cycle park it raised funds for and built, its teaching of children and adults, the Farcycles pop-up shop where bikes are re-cycled, serviced and sold back into the community, and through its lobbying work to future-proof safe cycling.
David added: “Faringdon is a growing town and it's important we improve the infrastructure to encourage more cycling. For example, Park Road is due to be resurfaced later this year, which presents an enormous opportunity to create a cycle lane from the town centre to the supermarkets. Farcycles would like to see further investment in cycling as a transport choice and will continue to work with policy makers to help make it happen.”
There are lots of ways for families to get involved with Farcycles this summer including a new family ride, Peddles and Picnics, that will form part of the Farcycles cyclosportive on the weekend of 17-18 July. There are also spaces left on cycle teaching courses, taking place in June and August.
Who do you know who deserves recognition?
Nominations for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2022 close on Wednesday 15 September 2021.
If you know of a Cycling UK group or individual who deserve recognition like Farcycles for the work they do in making a better world by bike, contact the Volunteering Team for details of our Going the Extra Mile awards.