Help York Bike Belles restart and grow their cycling work in York!

York Bike Belles has been working in York since 2014. This charitable community organisation provides free walking and cycling support for residents of all ages and abilities, while improving well-being, community life and tackling inequalities. York Bike Belles is now incorporated as a Community Interest Company, and works towards a vision of York as a healthy, green, and kind, city, where everyone thrives!

Over the last three years, York Bike Belles has supported 128 volunteers to help 4802 York residents get involved in 758 walking and cycling activities, including ‘Cycling Without Age’ Rides in a rickshaw bike for the elder community, a start cycling scheme over cake in a cafe, called ‘Cake Confidence’, city-wide Festivals, walks, rides, bike maintenance workshops and more.

York Bike Belles has a friendly, inclusive, and fun approach that appeals to groups usually underrepresented in physical activity, such as women, families with young children, those with low wellbeing and over 55s. This community organisation has also helped residents build social networks, make new friends and feel more part of the community, with *75% of participants saying contact with York Bike Belles has increased their cycling levels (*results from a 2019 survey).

Sheridan Piggott, Programme Manager, York Bike Belles, said:

“Before lockdown, York Bike Belles was delivering over 20 free activities a month, with a team of 30 trained community volunteers. Most of these activities have now stopped. We have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus period, with many funders withdrawing funding opportunities. The growth in cycling over the last few months* and recent focus on cycling by the government has led to a local demand for our services that we are now unable to meet.

 

We are urgently looking for funding in particular to safely restart our Cycling Without Age Rides in York in the autumn. The Rides offer an outdoor, sociable, and joyful ride experience in a rickshaw bike to the elder community. They have been proven to address isolation and improve elders’ wellbeing and quality of life. Community volunteers enjoy piloting the rickshaw and helping elders to spend more time out and about in the fresh air, to enjoy more social and community contact, and more freedom!

 

The Rides stopped when care homes closed their doors to visitors in March. The lockdown period has been difficult for homes – sadly half of Covid-19 deaths in York have been in care.** We and our care home partners feel that restarting the Rides will help improve elder residents’ health and wellbeing after the trials of the last few months.

 

You can help by either donating to the new Small Charities Fund or directly to York Bike Belles at: https://www.givey.com/cyclingwithoutagerides

Website: https://yorkbikebelles.community/

Cycling Without Age: https://yorkbikebelles.community/events/cyclingwithoutage/

Givey Donations page: https://www.givey.com/cyclingwithoutagerides

 

* https://cyclingindustry.news/new-figures-reveal-weekend-cycling-up-136-during-lockdown/

**https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/18570208.york-mp-pledges-work-parliament-safer-care-homes/?fbclid=IwAR1EDaPmmllOPcqsShh-oAyMfJVvDlUaunSYAz2PrWEQK20zJ1ef49NUyBw

Make a donation:

Text LIGHTSON 5 to 70450 TO DONATE £5

Text LIGHTSON 10 to 70450 TO DONATE £10

*Texts cost £5/£10 plus one standard rate message

If you would like to make a larger donation, please click the online donation button below or add the amount you would like to donate after the LIGHTSON text, for example, if you would like to donate £50, Text LIGHTSON 50 to 70450.