Ride Volunteers

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Pedaller Joanne takes Pat (care home resident) and Companion Jodie for a Ride

**Our Ride volunteer opportunities are on hold until we secure more financial support. Please email julie.yorkbikebelles@gmail.com to be put on a waiting list.**

Can you help us deliver York’s exciting Cycling Without Age Rides?

You’ll offer Rides on an special electric Triobike Taxi to elder passengers from care communities and people with restricted mobility across York. You’ll be either a volunteer Pedaller or a Companion. You’ll ride together with your passengers along green routes, through parks and around the city, so that you can all experience fresh air, companionship, freedom, and feel the wind in your hair! We guarantee you will enjoy this valuable, rewarding, and fun, role.

First of all, do sit back and enjoy watching some short videos about the Rides and from current volunteers on this page. Then read more about the Rides and the roles.

Overview

Cycling Without Age is a fast-growing international movement that originated in Copenhagen. York Bike Belles brought Cycling Without Age Rides to York in 2018 and, after a pandemic pause, restarted them in 2021. Find out more on our dedicated Cycling Without Age Rides page.

The volunteer roles are part-time and flexible, based in York. We ask that you volunteer for around 8 hours a month for at least a year. This time includes one shift for care home or community rides every month as a minimum, exploring routes, and ‘buddy’ support to the team. We ask that you attend an interview, provide a reference, and complete a DBS check and a Ride Volunteer Training programme. It is important that you are organised and reliable, and able to book at least one shift a month well in advance, and keep to the commitment.

In return, we’ll support and celebrate you, and offer comprehensive training, development and social opportunities. Many volunteers get deep satisfaction and joy from the role. It’s a rare opportunity to give back and serve our elder and disabled communities, with chat, smiles and songs as you ride together! You’ll get outdoor exercise, meet like-minded people and improve your own happiness, health and wellbeing, and quality of life. You’ll also grow your own sense of purpose and feel a valued part of the team and the wider York community.

And have a lot of fun!

Volunteer Role 1 – Pedaller

Pedaller Role and Responsibilities

We’d like you to deliver regular Cycling Without Age Rides and take elder people or people with restricted mobility on a three-seater electric-powered Triobike Taxi on bike rides around York. The bike is affectionately called ‘Trixie’.

We ask that you deliver at least one Pedaller shift every month for care home or community rides for at least a year. Shifts are usually 2/3 hours long and consist of 2 Rides.

Responsibilities include:

  • booking Pedaller shift dates well in advance as part of the 3-month seasonal York Bike Belles Activity Programme.
  • ‘reccy’ or ride through of the proposed route, and carrying out a risk assessment of the route if necessary.
  • collection of the Triobike from Cycle Heaven in Hospital Fields Road, Fulford or other storage site in York.
  • meeting passengers at the storage site or pedalling of the bike (empty) to the care home, and meeting with the passenger(s) and carer, relative or other companion there.
  • pedalling the passenger(s) and companion (if any) on an agreed, risk assessed route for up to an hour, with perhaps a stop at a cafe, park or other activity, and returning them to their residence. Repeating with second set of passengers.
  • returning the bike to Cycle Heaven or other storage site.
  • emailing a brief ride report with photos to the Rides Coordinator.
  • supporting other Pedallers on buddy Rides.
  • following York Bike Belles’ volunteer policies and procedures, including safeguarding, health and safety, and privacy.
  • participating in ongoing development.

We have Covid-safe procedures in place which will be covered in the Pedaller training programme.

Person Specification

You are keen to help improve the quality of life and well being of older people.

You are enthusiastic about cycling and its benefits for health, well being and community life.

You are a confident and competent cyclist with good bike handling skills and a good awareness of routes around York. Training can be provided.

You have excellent communication skills.

You are self-motivated and have a positive, can-do attitude.

You are organised, reliable, able to plan in advance and keep to your commitments.

You are able to motivate and enthuse others.

You are able to work independently and as part of a team.

You are a positive advocate for older and disabled people, cycling and York Bike Belles.

You are IT literate.

You are able to walk, cycle or use sustainable transport as part of your role.

Join us! Be the change you want to see in the world.

Volunteer Role 2 – Companion

Companion Role and Responsibilities

We’d like you to ride with elder passengers as a friendly Companion in regular Cycling Without Age Nature Rides on a three-seater electric-powered Triobike Taxi around green spaces in York. The bike is affectionately called ‘Trixie’.

We ask that you deliver at least one Companion shift for 2/3 hours a month for at least a year. If you have more availability, you could ride with passengers on a series of weekly Rides.

Responsibilities include:

  • booking Companion Ride dates in advance as referrals come in through the Rides Coordinator.
  • ‘reccy’ ride or walk through the proposed route, liaising with the volunteer who will be pedalling your ride and agreeing at least 3 ‘Nature Pauses’. These are brief stops in the Ride where you will help passengers to connect with nature.
  • on the day of the Ride, meeting the Pedaller at Cycle Heaven in Hospital Fields Road, Fulford or other storage site in York.
  • on the day of the Ride, meeting the passenger either at Cycle Heaven or riding in Trixie to an agreed pick-up point to meet the passenger. Completing Activity Register.
  • riding with and chatting to the passenger in Trixie on an agreed, risk assessed route, helping with the ‘Nature Pauses’, and returning to Cycle Heaven or other agreed pick-up point.
  • helping to obtain photos or recordings of the Ride experience.
  • after the Ride, emailing a brief Ride report and any photo or recordings to the Rides Coordinator.
  • following York Bike Belles’ volunteer policies and procedures, including safeguarding, health and safety, and privacy.
  • participating in ongoing development.

We have Covid-safe procedures in place which will be covered in the Companion training programme.

Person Specification

You are keen to help improve the quality of life and wellbeing of older people.

You have an interest in nature and the local environment.

You are enthusiastic about cycling, walking and nature connection and their benefits for health, wellbeing and community life.

You have excellent communication skills.

You are self-motivated and have a positive, can-do attitude.

You are able to motivate and enthuse others.

You are organised, reliable, able to plan in advance and keep to your commitments.

You are able to work independently and as part of a team.

You are a positive advocate for older and disabled people, cycling and York Bike Belles.

You are IT literate.

You are able to walk, cycle or use sustainable transport as part of your role.

Join us! Be the change you want to see in the world.

Can you help grow our Rides?

York Bike Belles relies on grants, donations and sponsorship to fund our work. Your donation will enable us to offer Rides to more elder and disabled people and make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in York. You can donate here.