Gathering data can be time consuming and boring, so often staff don’t set about the task of monitoring progress with much relish. However, in our increasingly evidenced-based world, each year Life Cycle goes to great efforts to prove that we are having a positive impact on the community.
Our original motivation for doing this was to demonstrate to funders and commissioners, that we are doing a good job and are worth supporting. Recently however, I have come to realise that data gathering is never in vain. Looking at Life Cycle’s latest “Impact Report” – our annual review in which we present evidence of our progress – I realise that it serves a really important additional purpose…
As well as allowing us to shout from the rooftops to funders and external audiences about what we've achieved, it gives staff a rare opportunity to step back and appreciate how many people they have helped. Life Cycle currently has 15 staff – most of whom are part time – who work incredibly hard to organise and promote cycle training, maintenance courses, bike sales, bike rides, family events and more. They are also instrumental in getting on board our fantastic team of volunteers – around 80 in total – who give their skills and time to help make Life Cycle what it is today.
Between the staff and volunteers Life Cycle has provided a direct service to over 4,000 individuals in the last 12-months. This is around 500 more than in the previous 12-months; itself more than the year before. Not only does this show that Life Cycle is doing a great job at getting out there and supporting people to cycle, but also, i hope, shows a growing interest and willingness to give cycling a go.
But of course it’s not all about the numbers. More important is the actual effect on the lives of the people we engage with – feedback like Kay’s comment in our Impact Report “If it weren’t for you I would never have started riding again” are music to our ears, and the motivation that staff and volunteers need to help us keep at. We’ll keep up the hard work – we just ask you to keep on giving us feedback!
To find out more about Life Cycle’s Impact in 2014-15 please read our fantastic new report – here.