Life Cycle is absolutely thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary service. This is the highest award given to groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done by volunteers in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Poppy Brett, the Chief Executive said,
“This is a huge accolade for Life Cycle and we are delighted. But most of all it is a much deserved reward for our many volunteers who give their time freely and whose support enables us to achieve so much”.
The judges were particularly impressed by the exceptional contribution of volunteers to Life Cycle’s tandem project, Two’s Company. Annually around 50 people volunteer to cycle at the front of Life Cycle’s tandems enabling blind and visually impaired people to experience the joy and freedom cycling offers. During 2016 Life Cycle’s sighted volunteer front riders gave 1400+ hours of their time to Two’s Company. The project is completely dependent on the time, skill and dedication of volunteers, and couldn’t function without them.
Rod, one of the visually impaired participant’s commented:
“I find it very humbling that Two's Company has recruited and trained front riders to enable me and others of the blind community to release our frustrations and enjoy the thrills of cycling through the countryside! Arranging for us to have a different front rider on each ride gives us the pleasure of meeting new people”
In total Life Cycle has over 100 volunteers who bring a wide range of skills and experience. Some ride tandems; others use their mechanical skills to help fix bikes; some support prisoners in Life Cycle workshop at HMP Bristol; whilst others help out in the office supporting the day to day work of the charity. Together they donate over 5000 hours of their time to Life Cycle each year.
Burges Salmon LLP, who have supported Life Cycle over many years, nominated the Charity for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
Chris Seaton, senior partner at Burges Salmon, comments:
“We are thrilled that Life Cycle and all of its dedicated volunteers have been recognised with this award win. The firm has had strong ties with the charity going back nearly 20 years when an ex-senior partner first started volunteering for the charity as a Trustee. We also have a strong volunteering culture at the firm – and this includes staff members continuing to be actively involved in Life Cycle. Congratulations to everyone at Life Cycle – the award is very much deserved.”
Bob Smyth, one of Life Cycle’s longest serving volunteers added,
"I began volunteering with Life Cycle UK nearly 20 years ago, when it was first set-up with a focus, at that time, on cycling to work. Since those early days, it has grown to cover many more ways in which cycling can help people. It has always been an entirely positive experience for me and a relationship which I have enjoyed."