New chief executive Sarah Mitchell joins at ‘moment of history’

Sarah Mitchell is the new chief executive at Cycling UK
Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK chief executive
Cycling UK’s new chief executive, Sarah Mitchell, has taken up her new role this week, promising to ‘keep Britain cycling’ when the country finally emerges from a coronavirus pandemic that has seen cycling levels increase by up to 400%

Sarah Mitchell, who has 15 years’ experience working in the charity sector, has taken over from interim chief executive Pete Fitzboydon.

She was previously the chief executive at Heart of the City, a social business which advises on responsible business.

She is also the former chief executive of Carers Network and head of housing at Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.

Originally from the Peak District, Sarah trained as an accountant and describes herself as an ‘everyday cyclist’ who commuted daily on her bike through London before the coronavirus restrictions were imposed.

She joins Cycling UK at a time described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a ‘golden age of cycling’, and is keen to see the levels of everyday cycling witnessed during the coronavirus crisis continue after the pandemic.

I’m a huge advocate of cycling, not only for all the health benefits it brings, but also for the pleasure it can bring to everyone’s lives

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK chief executive

“I’m delighted to be joining Cycling UK at such an exciting time for cyclists everywhere. It feels like a moment in history – for a charity steeped in history – when we have a real opportunity to support communities from all across the UK to get out on their bikes.

“I’m a huge advocate of cycling, not only for all the health benefits it brings, but also for the pleasure it can bring to everyone’s lives.

“Cycling UK, now in its 143rd year, is a thriving organisation with a passionate and enthusiastic membership, and together, I know we can make lasting change to ensure the UK becomes a true cycling nation where riding is not only encouraged, but enjoyable and safe.”

Although only in her first week of the job, Sarah is already looking ahead to meeting with our groups and volunteers and seeing first-hand how our projects are helping more people to ride.

“I’m really looking forward to catching up with our groups across the country, and to listen to their hopes, interests and concerns in due course, whether that’s in person or virtually while the coronavirus restrictions mean we have to continue to look for innovative ways to work.

“I know it’s been a frustrating year with many activities and group riding curtailed because of the pandemic, especially because I recognise the importance of the social side of cycling, but it won’t be forever.

“In the meantime, I’ve seen the incredible work of our dedicated band of volunteers who continue promoting, inspiring and encouraging more people to cycle. Without these amazing people we would never be able to achieve our ambitions.

“I’m also keen to see for myself the work being done at a grassroots level with projects like the Big Bike Revival, the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme, our Community Cycle Clubs, Wheelness in Inverness, and the Edinburgh ABC. And I know there are many more. It’s such vital work as part of our mission to help even more people to cycle.

“But I know we still have much work to do. We still want to encourage more women to cycle and inspire and help more people from diverse backgrounds to discover the joys of cycling.

“And we need to continue our vital campaigning work, championing more and better cycling infrastructure, fighting injustice and making more routes available right across the UK.

“It’s never been a better time to cycle which is why this has never been a better time to be part of Cycling UK.”