Working for change with Camcycle

This article was published in 2020, in Magazine 148.

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Are you inspired to work for cycle-friendly places and a sustainable future? Magazine co-editor and website volunteer Adam Jenkins explores some of the ways you can get involved with Camcycle’s work for change.

Camcycle is a charity that has worked for over 25 years to make Cambridge a better place for cycling. The work of our volunteers has transformed the face of cycling in Cambridge and we are well respected by our many stakeholders including the city and county councils.

2020 has seen dramatic changes because of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve seen a glimpse of what life could be like if active travel was prioritised over motorised transport. The coming months will be pivotal in improving cycling in Cambridge for years, if not decades, to come. Maybe you’ve joined since our Spaces to Breathe campaign, or you got on a bike for the first time for years to enjoy deserted streets in the early days of the lockdown. Or perhaps you’ve been a member for a while, and now want to get more involved – take a look at these ideas and we’ll see you soon!

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Get informed about cycling issues in Cambridge

If you’re completely new to Camcycle and cycle campaigning, the best thing to do is get up to speed on what we’re doing and what’s happening around Cambridge. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Read the Camcycle email newsletter (weekly, for members only)
  • Read the Camcycle blog on our website at camcycle.org.uk/blog
  • Like/follow us on social media and share our posts so that even more people can hear about progress and developments for cycling in Cambridge

  • Join our meetings
    Our monthly meeting is a great way to see other volunteers, find out what’s going on and listen to guest speakers talk about their experiences. It’s currently live online, via our Facebook page, and available after the event on our website and YouTube channel. camcycle.org.uk/videos
  • Start using Cyclescape
    Our members’ forum is one of our most important resources as it’s the place where we discuss the cycling issues in and around Cambridge. Get an account and join the group ‘Cambridge Cycling Campaign’. camcycle.cyclescape.org
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Get involved with campaigning

The main thrust of Camcycle’s work is campaigning. Volunteers don’t need to have any experience and we need help with:

  • Communication
    e.g. writing, proofreading and editing for local campaign newsletters and other publications
  • Specialised skills: legal, HR, IT
  • Events: coordinating, first aid, marshalling, riding the stall bike, refreshments, putting out chairs etc.
  • Leadership including being a trustee or starting a local group
  • Coordinating campaigns: attending local consultation meetings and reporting them on Cyclescape, gathering and coordinating volunteers, organising petitions, designing surveys, conducting traffic surveys, liaising with other local groups
  • Planning: reviewing local planning applications, meeting developers, attending consultation events
  • Distribution: coordinating, stuffing envelopes and delivering campaign leaflets.

Get involved with communicating

Another important aspect of Camcycle’s activities is communicating what progress has been made, as well as what needs to be done, and how members and supporters can go about doing it. The kind of roles or tasks we need fulfilled are:

  • News articles and features for our website, social media channels and award-winning magazine
  • Photography and videography for campaigns and events
  • Contributions to the weekly update email for members
  • Magazine and leaflet design and layout
  • Delivery of our magazines throughout Cambridge and Cambridgeshire.

If you’re interested in any of the above roles, or want to talk to us about how you could get involved, let us know at camcycle. org.uk/membership/involvement or by emailing us at contact@camcycle.org.uk

Can’t give time but can give money?

Camcycle welcomes donations from members and well-wishers, either as part of a membership subscription or one-off gifts. Donations will be used to further the aims of our campaigns. Camcycle is a registered charity, so donations are eligible for Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer – this increases their value to us by 25%. camcycle.org.uk/donate

Why I volunteer

Because cycling is good for climate, mind, and body. KEN

The postage saved by delivering the magazine doubles the value of my subscription! RICHARD

Because decarbonisation is the most important thing in the world (and, as 96% of my journeys are by bike, I enjoy it when conditions on the ground are improved). WOOKEY

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Why we joined Camcyle

Our 1,500th member!

My husband and I have always been cycling fans. Both of us began cycling very early in our childhood and haven’t stopped since. Cycling is our way of commuting and our main hobby, especially in the past few months when it was our only escape from the house! We love visiting the beautiful area around Cambridge and revel in the fact that cycling keeps us fit while we do it. We believe it is really important for our community and environment to have increasing numbers of people who choose cycling as their primary mode of transport. We also realise that it won’t happen without a lot of hard work to shift the culture around transport and create safe space for active transport. We joined Camcycle to play our part in this work, help make our future more environmentally friendly and to spread the joy of cycling.

Marietta Cziszer and Sandor Kiss