We show our appreciation to two outstanding volunteers

Lizzie Reather
Volunteer Lizzie Reather has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Cycling UK. Photo: Suzanne Forup
Our volunteers are amazing. They are campaigners, photographers, and bloggers. They help run groups and clubs, sit on committees, and much more - all of which contributes to our mission to enable millions more people to cycle. Two such volunteers are Lizzie Reather, and Yann Maidment, who have recently been awarded for their commitment to that mission.

Lizzie and Yann have both recently retired as members of Cycling UK Scotland's committee. Lizzie, who became Chair of the group in 2017 has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation, while Yann, who took on the role of Treasurer in 2018, has been sent a Certificate of Thanks. They were both nominated for their efforts by incoming Chair Andrew Abbess as the group transitions from a Cycling UK Member Group into the Scotland Advisory Committee.

Cycling UK's chief executive, Sarah Mitchell said: "Lizzie and Yann have been instrumental in developing Cycling UK’s work in Scotland. Their commitment, over many hours of volunteering, is really inspiring and has made a huge difference to supporting cycling in communities across Scotland."

Yann Maidment

Cycling UK's head of development for Scotland, Suzanne Forup says: "Yann has provided great support as Treasurer over the last couple of years, ensuring that the flurries of invoices from committee events and activities are paid on time, as well as making sense of the WalkCycleVote budget. Yann approached the role with good humour, always willing to help, and providing sound advice far beyond his remit for the finances."

Yann said on hearing about the Certificate of Thanks: "What can I say? It is nice to get an award - I did not really expect it. My motivation has always been to try and make a difference, however small that may end up being. Sometimes that might end up contributing to a larger difference overall. I am confident that the people which the Cycling UK Scotland committee - now the Advisory Board - is handed on to are motivated and able to continue the organisation in its aims."

"She [Lizzie] has been an outstanding Chair, bringing enthusiasm and a high level of strategic thinking"

Suzanne Forup, head of development for Scotland

Lizzie Reather

Suzanne says of Lizzie: "She has been an outstanding Chair, bringing enthusiasm and a high level of strategic thinking, as well as deep understanding of organisational development to the role. Lizzie has supported the transition from Cycling UK Scotland committee to Scotland Advisory Committee, ensuring that the needs of Scotland are better understood across the organisation. Lizzie has been an enormous support to me in Scotland, providing an excellent sounding board as the Scotland team has grown and developed – her input will be greatly missed."

Lizzie herself says of the award: "I am delighted and honoured to be recognised in this way by Cycling UK. As with all volunteering, anything I've done has been a team effort, so my heartfelt thanks go to the Cycling UK Scotland committee past and present for their support and friendship, and to all the Cycling staff, members and volunteers in Scotland for their contributions to cycling."

We caught up with Lizzie to find out more about her volunteering for Cycling UK:

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

I’ve been involved in advocacy and campaigning for cycling as transport since I started commuting to work in 2011 and had to choose between a busy dual carriageway and a muddy track across a field. I joined Leeds Cycling Campaign, which was affiliated to the (then) CTC, became involved in the advisory group to a major cycling infrastructure project and was gently persuaded by an incumbent CTC Council (now the Board of Trustees) member to stand for Council on his resignation.

During this relatively short period when I was a member of Cycling UK’s Board of Trustees, I relocated to Scotland and began to attend the Cycling UK Scotland committee as a link to the Board. When I stepped down from the Board, I was invited to become a regular member of the Cycling UK Scotland committee and I became Chair in November 2017.

There are two things that kept me volunteering for Cycling UK over the years: a passionate belief that cycling as transport is a right and freedom that must be fought for and preserved; and the dedication and tireless commitment of Cycling UK’s staff and volunteers in Scotland, who made it a pleasure and a privilege to be involved.

How much time were you able to commit?

Chairing the meetings only took a few hours a month, and there was some work in between keeping up with correspondence, planning and following up from meetings, and acting as a contact point for Cycling UK’s national office and other organisations in Scotland.

What is the greatest challenge you have encountered?

This year, we have finally reached the conclusion of a period of strategic and governance review: it is exactly as boring as it sounds, it has been a huge struggle and now that it’s out of the way, I feel relieved and confident leaving the committee in good hands to take forward some much more interesting and useful work.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of all of the work of the staff and volunteers in Scotland, particularly some of the projects that really challenge perceptions of cycling and cyclists, for example: Edinburgh ABC, bikes and trikes for Highland carers, and partnership work with RNIB Scotland, but I haven’t been directly involved in any of these.

The work that I have most personal experience of is the fantastic We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote project, which aims to take this stereotype-confounding approach to cycling and cyclists and translate it into political will and change on the ground that will benefit cyclists of all ages and abilities.

Serving as Chair of Cycling UK Scotland felt like a contribution that enabled others to take action and make the voice of cycling heard.

Lizzie Reather, Cycling UK Scotland Committee volunteer

What do you get out of being a volunteer?

Since moving to Scotland, I have been less directly involved in campaigning and activism, but serving as Chair of Cycling UK Scotland felt like a contribution that enabled others to take action and make the voice of cycling heard. I always enjoyed the Cycling UK Scotland AGM and Gathering, which was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Cycling UK’s work in Scotland and get to know the fantastic, diverse and funny crowd that make up the Cycling UK membership in Scotland.

How has volunteering enhanced your passion for cycling? 

Most of my cycling is for transport, so that doesn’t require passion, just a need to get from A to B! Volunteering has kept me in touch with a group of cycling friends, we don’t live close together so we aren’t regular riding buddies but we do get together for a mini adventure from time to time: check out #5GoMad on Twitter for more on that.

Get involved

Do you want to volunteer in cycling? Check out our current volunteering opportunities to see what is available. If you know outstanding Cycling UK volunteers like Lizzie and Yann, please consider nominating them for a Cycling UK award and give them the recognition they deserve.