Successful Space for Cycling activist event in Shoreditch helps build volunteer networks and skills

On Saturday 18th January LCC hosted a Space for Cycling Activist Workshop at Amnesty UK’s Human Rights Action Centre, for members and supporters who will be helping us with our ambitious new campaign ahead of the London Local Elections.

The workshop was focused around our Space for Cycling campaign, during which we will target local election candidates with a specific local cycling ‘ask’ or demand; all aimed at making cycling safer and more accessible for local people across the whole of London.

We had a great mix of over 40 people attend - young, old, male, female - from a range of backgrounds.

Some were already part of our active network of local borough group volunteers, but many were new people who have offered to help us with our campaign in their boroughs.

It was great to see such a vibrant group of people work with each other, make friends, and take an active part in the day.

One of the resounding messages we heard at the end of the day was how much participants enjoyed networking with other local group members, meeting other new volunteers, and finding out more about how other local groups work. 

More importantly, those who came along got to think about how they’ll communicate the campaign in their local areas.

We hope to put cycling at the top of the local election agenda, and our local groups and volunteers in each borough are vital to make sure this happens.

Communicating through the media

Participants learnt more about how to communicate our campaign through the media; including how to write a press release; how to best handle a media interview; and how to use social media effectively.

We also discussed how to get our campaign messages across to local candidates and local people, including other community or interest groups.

The day was helped by expert trainers from Rhizome facilitating the sessions, as well as expertise from Camden councillor Phil Jones and Amnesty UK social media expert Emerson Povey. 

The afternoon was spent discussing how we involve all of London in the campaign in an ‘Open Space’ session; where people got to decide what they wanted to talk about.

Topics ranged from looking at maps and survey data; to how to involve local schools; recruiting other volunteers to help; and reaching out to other groups of people to make our campaign relevant to all Londoners.

All participants were given our new Space for Cycling ‘Activist Pack’ (which anyone can download) which included Space for Cycling information and campaigning guides on planning a good campaign, how to use the media, how to organise and event, effective lobbying and using social media, among other things.

We’ll be following up this training day with other focused evening workshops on social media and other useful topics, so keep an eye out for information coming up soon. 

Not too late to get involved

Our local groups are looking for more volunteers to help them and our dedicated Campaign Organisers will need support and help in planning and delivering local campaign activities.

Contact us via getinvolved@lcc.org.uk for more information on helping, or contact your local borough group directly to find out what they are planning.

Some boroughs (Barnet, Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Hillingdon) are still looking for Campaign Organisers to take an active role – could this be you? If so, get in touch getinvolved@lcc.org.uk today.

Space for Cycling Campaign

22 May 2014 is the next time that the whole of Greater London re-elects its local councillors, who are the key decision-makers on local street design.

They, more than anyone else, have the power to make our local streets more cycle-friendly.

Our Space for Cycling Campaign aims to ensure that providing safe space for cycling is a major issue during the local elections, and is on the agenda of incoming ward councillors.

The Mayor's Vision for Cycling promises a lot, but achieving that positive change depends on strong political leadership at many levels, including from borough councils.

LCC has developed six policy themes, the things that you've told us are most important to make your neighbourhood safe and inviting for everyone to cycle:

1.Safer Routes for schoolchildren

2.Streets without through motor traffic

3.Protected space on main roads/major junctions

4.Safe cycle routes via parks and canals 

5.20mph speed limits

6.Liveable town centres

With your help, we're currently developing a single measure for each ward (the smallest electoral sub-division): this a single measure will be based on one of our policy themes, and we'll lobby incumbent councillors and candidates to commit to putting that measure in place.

The measures we will be calling for will benefit all Londoners, not just those who cycle, and will help to make our neighbourhoods more pleasant and prosperous places for everyone.

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