Our organisation

NEW! York Bike Belles Strategy 2020 – 2025

We are delighted to present our new Strategy – take a look! We keep the Strategy under regular review and welcome feedback. If you have any thoughts or comments, please email yorkbikebelles@gmail.com.

About our organisation

York Bike Belles is an award-winning charitable organisation. Our objectives are to encourage and enable residents of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle as the natural way to get around York, while improving well-being, community life, green spaces, and tackling inequalities and the climate and nature crises.

We incorporated as a Community Interest Company on 18 February 2020, Company Number 12470154. Our Registered Office address is Trafalgar Street, York, YO23 1HZ. All our Community Interest Company information is filed online at Companies House. Important documents include the Constitution and Community Interest Benefit Statement.

York Bike Belles CIC is led by a Board of 6 Directors. The Directors are local volunteers from all walks of life, passionate about increasing everyday walking and cycling in York.

We have a core delivery team of 4 paid staff and 20 active community volunteers. The team are all thoroughly trained to carry out their roles competently, including training where necessary in cycle training, ride and walk leading, bike mechanics, first aid, safeguarding, engagement methods and Nature Connectedness. We pride ourselves in making all our activities safe, professional, inclusive, supportive, friendly and fun! Have a look at our latest Health and Safety, Privacy and Safeguarding Policies.

Our work and activities are underpinned by our organisational values – we are effective, we respond to need, we are kind, inclusive, cooperative, independent, creative, we innovate, we make things happen and we leave a legacy.

Our activities are offered free of charge to York residents. We rely on donations and grants to fund our work. We are grateful to current funding from Sport England to deliver Cake Confidence until July 2021 and to local donors Feoffees Church Fund and Skiweb to deliver Cycling Without Age until January 2022. If you are able to support us, please donate here.

About our activity programme

We offer an integrated programme of regular cycling, walking and nature activities, communications and volunteer training and support, all year round. Participants can enter the programme at any point by engaging with us online or joining an activity, and move from one activity to another as suits. The process steadily increases participants’ confidence, knowledge and skills to enjoy walking and cycling, and life, more!

All our current activities are at https://yorkbikebelles.community/events/. Activities for the next month are posted on the home page, with usually also a Facebook event at least a week before the activity. From May 2021, you need to book a place on an activity in advance, either by emailing us or booking online via any Eventbrite link.

You can keep up to date with our activities by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or signing up to our Newsletter below:

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More about our work

There are significant inequalities in our area of work. We tackle these inequalities by reaching out to and prioritising work with people in groupings under-represented in walking, cycling, physical activity and having access to nature. This includes women and girls, older people (over 55), the elder community (over 80), those with low wellbeing, health conditions, disabilities, young people (11 – 25), people on lower incomes and BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, Refugee) groups. These groups are also more likely to be disadvantaged, marginalised, isolated and with lower health and wellbeing. We are developing more work with young people from 2021. Have a look at our latest Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

We focus on supporting people into local, everyday walking and cycling for independent transport, and reducing car use. Our work is based on what is needed in the York community and society as a whole. It is dynamic, developing in response to feedback and what is happening in our community and the wider world.

We continually look for opportunities to be creative and innovative. We connect people with nature and promote, protect and enhance nature as an integral part of our practice. We explore ways to improve York’s public spaces and routes so they are better places for people who walk and cycle, with less traffic, and more trees, plants, and wildlife.

We aim to leave a sustainable legacy from all our work, including helping create long-term walking and cycling buddies, developing the skills and knowledge of our team, volunteers or participants with training and open online learning courses or producing accessible online resources.

We work strategically across the city and are embedded in York’s community network, working cooperatively with multiple partners. We advocate for better infrastructure – more city space for walking and cycling, an inclusive approach to city mobility, and to keep York’s walking and cycling paths and linked green spaces safe, accessible, convenient and constantly being improved. Our priorities are to improve walking and cycling routes for safety, accessibility and natural biodiversity.

Our Programme Manager has over 15 years experience as a sustainable transport and behaviour change professional. She facilitated York’s independent Walk Cycle Forum between 2017 and 2019. We support the collective Walk Cycle Vision for York that emerged from this Forum. Our community volunteering work forms part of York’s international Cities of Service Coalition.

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We prioritise work that tackles the climate and nature emergencies. We ensure our work has as low an environmental impact as possible, and enhances the natural world where we can. All our team walk or cycle during the course of their work. We ask participants to take sustainable transport to our activities if they can. We source local suppliers, contractors and products with sustainable principles, which means we also invest into our local community. We carry out sustainable office practices. We are a member of One Planet York, a collaborative movement of organisations and individuals working towards a sustainable York. Have a look at our latest Environmental Sustainability Policy.

Accessibility

We make all our communications, activities, services and resources as accessible as possible to people of all ages, abilities and life situations, with particular consideration of the needs stated by our priority groups. Examples include our sociable buddy support and child-carrying bike equipment loans; our comprehensive, tailored support into cycling through Cake Confidence; our assisted Cycling Without Age Rides in a rickshaw; and our offer of website, online and other printed information in alternative formats. We also provide clear accessibility information in any promotion of our activities.

Do let us know if you would like any of this website, online or other printed information in Easy Read, large print or audio, or if you’d like someone to talk anything through with you. If you have any feedback about accessibility and how we can improve, please email yorkbikebelles@gmail.com

National recognition

In 2016, York Bike Belles #travelwithtots work won a national award for Excellence in Cycling from Modeshift.

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In 2017, we featured as a “Story for Change” in the ground-breaking 2017 Zero Carbon Britain report.

In 2018, we gave a presentation in the House of Commons to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) about good practice in women and cycling.

In 2019, we were chosen to feature as a good practice project in Public Health England’s case study for York (part of the “Everybody Active Every Day” framework). And we featured in a summer 2019 exhibit at the Eden Project as an example of a “Guardian of the Future – passionate people and projects making a real difference to the global climate”.

In 2020, we were awarded funding by Sport England to continue and develop our popular Cake Confidence scheme for those with health concerns.

Volunteers!

We are always looking for community volunteers to help with our work, whether as a walk or ride leader, a Pedallers for Cycling Without Age rides, or a bike buddy on the Cake Confidence start cycling scheme.

Have a look at www.yorkbikebelles.community/join-the-team for the latest opportunities. You can also read our latest Volunteer Policy.

Walk and cycle with us into a healthy, green and kind future!