Lockdown Love Award Winners 2020
Going the Extra Mile: Lockdown Love Awards 2020
Our volunteers are amazing! They are the unsung heroes who help our wheels spin round and put smiles on our faces by offering their time, energy and skills freely to enable us to enjoy the wonderful gift of cycling.
During this difficult year, especially, many of them have performed random acts of kindness for others, whether delivering food and medication by bike, keeping up morale in their groups with newsletters and cycling games, fixing up and donating bikes or helping out in the community in other ways like being part of our Pumped Up Crew.
Cycling UK recognised some of them during our Lockdown Love article and video during Volunteers' Week back in June and then celebrated their contributions during the evening of our Volunteer Celebration when their achievements were read out by Head of Volunteering Alex Cuppleditch during the Big Bicycle Quiz.
This year there are not winners and runners-up for our Volunteer Awards as we wanted to recognise the huge contributions made by these groups and individuals collectively, rather than singling anyone out for special commendation, as they are all equally richly deserving of praise.
Chester & N Wales Caer a Gogledd Cymru (Cycling UK member group)
Secretary Lowri Evans said that volunteers and members have worked very hard during the pandemic. Facebook admin and moderators Paul Mills, John Ferguson, Chris Lamb, Chris Smith, Simon Tiplady and Mark Jones have been dealing with far more traffic than usual. Informal Group organisers and Coivd-19 officers, Sue Booth, Allan Samuel, Mark Jones, Ifor Jones and Sue Cooper who have worked so hard to restart group rides taking into account the different rules that are in place in England & Wales. Other members have been posting messages; information about restrictions, ride reports, answering questions, lots of photos and even cycling related on-line jigsaw puzzles to keep people’s spirits up during lockdown. Thanks to Janet Jones editor of the Club magazine ‘The Link’ and Graham Arnold who kept track of subscriptions. Right to Ride Reps including John Mather, John Violet, Richard Brunstrom and Roy Spilsbury who have been busy commenting on pop-up plans as well long term plans. Also, to all of the members who have also taken the time to respond to local consultations. Members who have helped others with bike repairs and giving advice and support particularly when several cycle shops were closed. John Ferguson who with his customary efficiency managed to coordinate and arrange distribution of a club kit order for members.
Cycle Sisters (Cycling UK affiliated group)
Cycle Sisters in Walthamstow have undertaken numerous initiatives to keep their members engaged during lockdown: sharing safe cycling guidance and setting up a Bike Buddies group to help match up riders who want to cycle but don't feel confident riding on their own. They have been sharing a Destination of the Week, with a specific route to get there, have held some online Zoom sessions in which riders can get practical advice and support on focused topics such as cycling with children on the road, buying a new bike, and clothing tips, which have been really well attended and most are available on their YouTube channel. Many of the riders are also volunteers for a fantastic food rescue and food delivery project with the Hornbeam Centre called Good Deeds on Bikes.
Falmouth Wheelers (Cycling UK affiliated group)
The Falmouth Wheelers from Cornwall have been keeping up morale both in the group and the wider community by putting on lots of different activities during lockdown such as riding 'Everest' and 'Snowdon', undertaking fundraising for charity and holding regular group Zoom meetings. They have also been helping out by delivering food and medications by bike.
Fylde Bicycle Belles (Cycling UK Member Group)
Throughout lockdown, Cycling UK Member Group Fylde Bicycle Belles have been busy out and about volunteering across the Fylde area. They have jumped on their bikes to travel several miles in order to dog walk for people in self-isolation, or support local community care initiatives by shopping or collecting prescriptions, all whilst putting pedal to the metal. They have baked cakes for local prison officers and paramedics and sewed scrubs for our local hospital, care homes and GP surgeries, delivering them by bike. In total, 80+ scrubs have been donated locally to much needed key workers.
Monty's Bike Hub (Cycling UK Community Cycle Club)
In Southampton Monty's Bike Hub have used bikes to courier homemade scrubs and wash bags for NHS staff. One volunteer fixed up 30 bikes during lockdown alone in his back garden. Volunteers at Monty's have also been using their cargo bike to pick up food that would go to waste, and have added it to their community pantry for local people.
South Devon CTC (Cycling UK Member Group)
South Devon created iSpysolation, which is played on bikes and is the lockdown craze sweeping the Devon area. Volunteers from South Devon CTC have come up with the rules of the game, and administer the awarding of points for places visited by bike from list released weekly. Players have even taken part from as far afield as Cumbria and Scotland, enjoying the chance to do something different during their daily exercise jaunts. South Devon has also created an Instagram yearbook during the pandemic, as a way of remembering happier times, posting regular updates to members on its public Facebook page.
CTC Swale (Cycling UK Member Group)
CTC Swale has been busy keeping members and new riders in the North Kent area entertained and active during lockdown. They have even organised Bike Spa Days to show riders how to clean their bikes and much else besides including creating bicycle jigsaw puzzles.
Both Andy Shaw and Andrew Millest of CERA Cycloan bike recycling centre in Stockport have been volunteering front of house; serving customers, organising and logging all jobs to be completed, making and following up parts orders, managing stock levels, and doing quick jobs in the workshop, ensuring CERA Cycloan can continue to operate successfully.
Anna Russell of Cycling UK's New Forest Cycling Week worked tirelessly to make sure this year's event could go ahead despite the lockdown. Hygiene and social distancing measures were put in place, registration took place online and some activities were cancelled but the week was a great success, despite some poor weather, and enjoyed by many people looking for a much-needed fresh air and an escape from lockdown for a few days.
Brandon Edgerley of Chester and N. Wales/Caer a Gogledd Cymru is the organiser of the Momma Series of Audax events for the group in 2020. Brandon arranged two sets of risk assessments for each distance & for both countries as the routes crossed between England & Wales. Permission was obtained from Audax UK and Cycling UK (then checked again as Covid-19 regulation changed). Routes had to be checked; route sheets were amended with notes to riders to ensure they knew when they would cross borders. Controls had to be altered, start procedures adjusted (to ensure people could arrive & set off rather than coming together in groups), volunteers recruited for a pop up control/ refreshment stop and the maximum number of starters reduced. In the end 58 riders took part, split between 3 routes - a very successful outcome.
Charlotte Parker has set up her own group Charlie's Angels for new cyclists after 30 years in the police. She is incredibly enthusiastic about being part of the Pumped Up Crew and getting millions more people cycling. And has completed above and beyond all the tasks set for her within her role.
Chris Tomkins is from Southampton CTC. He organised a Zoom social meeting with members twice a week so that they can see each other and share their experiences of solo rides or lockdown difficulties and also include information on bikes, recipes for cakes, route planning, and so on whilst enjoying a tea, coffee or beer together. Chris has also coordinated members to look after the more vulnerable adult members or the group, and checked in to monitor their progress.
Ian Davies, Secretary of Swansea CTC member group was nominated by Cycling UK staff member Gwenda and helped put together the ‘Wheeling Around Wales’ video for her and made one for his group too. He also put up virtual tours of previous rides on Facebook to keep Swansea members engaged and entertained. He’s been instrumental in getting them back riding safely too.
Lyn Brayshaw is Chair of the Southampton Cycling Campaign and the lead volunteer for one of Cycling UK's Community Cycle Clubs Southampton Cargo Bikes. She has been working tirelessly to make bags for NHS workers to store their scrubs in hygienically, and has organised for them to be distributed to the hospital through volunteers on bicycles. She has also spearheaded a local campaign to support new cyclists, by putting up local routes on their website and coordinating with volunteers who can ride with people new to cycling at a safe distance, giving them confidence.
Nasser Al-Tell of Cycling UK affiliated LGBT+ group CycleOut London has also been massively helpful in contributing to our campaigns around inclusion as well as keeping his group running throughout lockdown with a programme of rides for new and existing riders.
Peter Cornish is a Cycling UK volunteer photographer who is always enthusiastic, helpful and an ace user of Assemble our volunteer platform! He took some brilliant photos at the New Forest Cycling Week in July 2020 and of SW London CTC's 40th anniversary ride back in February 2020 which have really helped promote our message to keep cycling safely during the pandemic.
Ravinderjit Minhas and Bindu Parajuli of Hamsted Pavilion and Handsworth Beat the Street Community Cycle Clubs have been doing led rides. Since lockdown, instead of doing three led rides a week, they have been doing five! It's great that they have kept the group together and active.
Richard Hearne founded LGBT+ group PrideOut in Manchester and has been the drive force behind helping promote our Pride month articles and events, raising awareness that cycling is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. His great passion and commitment to his group deems this great recognition for all his hard work.
Roland Seber has performed numerous volunteer tasks for Cycling UK for at least 25 years and especially during lockdown, even though he's classified as vulnerable himself. He has appeared in many videos, including the Lockdown Love video, photo shoots and articles, written numerous book reviews for Cycle magazine, campaigns locally, fixes bikes and always offers his time freely and willingly to help with whatever initiatives Cycling UK comes up with. A very well-deserved nomination.
Sarah Wood is a professional cycle instructor who has also been setting up and leading rides during lockdown locally in her spare time, leaving her house at 5pm every evening, which encourage lots of new cyclists to take up and continue the activity. She is also a very active local cycle campaigner.
Stephen Dee started as a volunteer validator for Cycling UK's British Cycle Quest (BCQ) in 2019 and has made a massive contribution to the upgrade of the system. He has created defined spreadsheets, maps and systems which are now used to keep track of all the wonderful BCQ participants and the 402 checkpoints. He has responded to a huge number of enquiries from participants, and thanks to him we can promote the contest and BCQ could continue running nearly normally during the summer. During the lockdown, Stephen was also busy volunteering by transporting materials and dropping off headbands to the NHS and helping with prescriptions and food deliveries.
Sye James aka Singing Sye of Lye from Cycling UK affiliate group Stourbug is fantastic at supporting new riders and encouraging them with whatever their goal is. During lockdown, he continued to spread the joy from his bike: every morning he cycled out to different spots to sing some songs to cheer people up and reinforce the stay home message by posting it on his Facebook page.
Vicky Balfour of Vicky Bikes is a very enthusiastic Pumped Up Crew member. She has been nominated for setting up a new club for disabled children including her own daughter, who went out riding for the first time during lockdown with her mother and brother. Vicky has posted numerous times on social media about this to inspire others and also works hard as a bike mechanic restoring bikes to be used by local key workers and the community and creating free video content to help others. Vicky was also a member of our panel discussion on inclusive cycling groups at the Volunteer Celebration and is a former 100 Women in Cycling nominee.
Wayne Fox is a new Cycling UK volunteer photographer based in the West Midlands, undertaking two assignments for Cycling UK shortly after starting out with us. His fantastic photos have been used multiple times by us already to show the rich diversity of cycling in our communications, particularly for our Pumped Up Crew campaign. Wayne is also a volunteer bike mechanic with Cycling UK at Walsall Bike Project.
Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their service to cycling?
Send your nominations to the Cycling UK Volunteering Team and we'll take it from there.