Our organisation

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Welcome to our friendly community!

York Bike Belles is an independent, volunteer-led community organisation that inspires, encourages and enables people of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle everyday as the natural way to get around, while improving well-being, community life and nature, for the future of the world.

Our impact so far

Since 2014, York Bike Belles has directly engaged with many thousands of people in York. Between April 2018 and March 2019, we delivered 229 activities to 2004 participants, with over 10,000 engagements on our popular Facebook page. Our youngest participant was 12 weeks old, and our oldest 100!

In a 2018 survey, 75% of respondents said contact with us encouraged them to increase their cycling levels. In a 2018/9 survey, 92% of cake confidence participants said they started cycling or cycled more often after support from us. And over Spring 2019, 100% of passengers on our cycling without age rides said they felt “much happier” after the ride 😊.

You can read some stories of change from the people we have worked with at: https://yorkbikebelles.community/stories/

Our work

We offer an integrated programme of regular cycling and walking activities and communications, all year round. You can enter the programme at any point by engaging with us online or joining an activity. You can move from one activity to another as suits you, and can steadily increase your confidence, knowledge and skills to enjoy walking and cycling 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.

We run popular community social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Most days, we share local, national and international news, stories and ‘moments’ around walking, cycling, car-lite living, well-being, community life, sustainability or ‘one planet living’, cities for people, nature, trees and more! We welcome online contact, and love interaction and sharing from others.

Our work is underpinned by the values of independence, respect, equality, compassion, inclusion, positive action, cooperation and resilience.

Our organisation

We are led by a management committee of local volunteers from all walks of life – women and men passionate about increasing everyday walking and cycling in York. We have committed to continue our most popular activities free of charge to the local community as long as we can. We meet every 2 months.

We have a core delivery team of 2 paid and 20+ active volunteers, who are all trained where necessary in ride and walk leading, bike mechanics, first aid, communication/ engagement methods and safeguarding. Our work is people-centered and responsive to need. We pride ourselves in making all our activities safe, sociable, supportive and, above all, fun!

We target groups/ communities currently under-represented in cycling, such as women, parents of young children, older adults, those with low physical and emotional well being and those on lower incomes. We focus on supporting people into walking and cycling for independent transport and ultimately going car-lite, or perhaps car-free. Our work is innovative, creative and continually developing. We continually look to connect people with the natural world and promote, enhance and protect nature in our practice.

We work strategically across the city to make York a better place for walking and cycling. We are an integral part of York’s community network, working cooperatively with multiple partners. Our chair facilitated York’s independent Walk Cycle Forum in 2017/18 and we support the collective Walk Cycle Vision for York. We are a member of the leadership team for the city-wide One Planet York network.

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 feature in a summer 2019 exhibit at the Eden Project as a “Guardian of the Future – passionate people and projects making a real difference to the global climate”.

Volunteers!

We are always looking for volunteers to help with our work, whether walk and ride leading, cycling without age rides or on the Management Committee.. Check out www.yorkbikebelles.community/join-the-team for more info and email yorkbikebelles@gmail.com if you would like to become part of our friendly team.