Go Cycle Glasgow Fund receives £50,000 boost

Go Cycle Glasgow Fund receives £50,000 boost

With just six weeks to go until the world’s greatest cyclists cross the start line at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland, Glasgow Life today celebrated a new partnership with Landsec as the official partner of its Go Cycle Glasgow Fund.

Buchanan Galleries owner, Landsec, has contributed £50,000 to boost the fund and support additional community cycling initiatives across the city, helping to deliver a tangible legacy from one of the world’s biggest sports events.

The Go Cycle Glasgow Fund was created by Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council to inspire more local people to take up or return to cycling, making it an activity for life, by supporting community groups across Glasgow to create and develop accessible and sustainable cycling projects.

So far 29 organisations have benefited from £160,000 of funding, with Glasgow Afghan United’s (GAU) Women’s Empowerment Project a shining example of the impact relatively modest amounts of money can make, ensuring more people, regardless of background, age or ability enjoy the benefits and power of the bike.

GAU’s Women's Empowerment Project, provides specific services for more than 300 women in all over Scotland, including many refugees and asylum seekers, to promote confidence, attainment, education and health and wellbeing, beat isolation and overcome barriers to participation. The group has been instrumental in changing the lives of local women in the north of the city by offering a safe space to learn and connect.

GAU is a member organisation of Maryhill and Summerston Community Sport Hub supported by Glasgow Life. Based at the Sport Hub, and with initial funding from Glasgow Mental Health and Well-being Fund, the organisation developed a Multi-Sport Activity and Leadership Programme, which included cycling. Such was the success of the pilot cycling programme to teach beginners how to cycle safely, that they applied to the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund to enable them to expand and develop the programme further into an ongoing cycling club to meet the growing interest and demand.

Already, the funding for additional bikes and safety equipment is making an impact, ensuring more women get the opportunity to learn to ride and develop their skills. The programme has also been expanded to include children and young people, so families can cycle together. Furthermore, cycle leader and bike maintenance training has been added, to develop and empower a strong female volunteer workforce with the required skills to confidently deliver activities to their peers, families, and children, helping build stronger, active, and thriving communities.

Fifteen women are now participating in the latest 10-week block of cycling training, organised by delivery partners Bike for Good, helping them to meet new people, build confidence and self-esteem, as well as placing importance on their physical and mental health. Already many of the women have spoken positively about their experience.

“Having the opportunity to take part in the cycling sessions has been a dream come true. Back home as a girl we were not allowed to cycle, only boys were allowed.” - GAU participant.

“It has been so much fun taking part in the sessions and meeting up with women from similar backgrounds who have now become my friends.” - GAU participant.

Billy Garrett, Director of Culture, Tourism and Events at Glasgow Life, said:

: “The Go Cycle Glasgow Fund is playing a vital role in communities across Glasgow, and we are absolutely delighted that Buchanan Galleries owner Landsec has come on board as the fund’s Official Partner, giving it a significant funding boost, enabling us to support even more cycling initiatives.

“2023 is another significant year for Glasgow as we prepare to be in the international spotlight, hosting five of the 13 Cycling World Championship events at venues across the city. We have a strong track record of successfully hosting major international events, however, even more importantly, we are committed to ensuring that the people of Glasgow get the opportunity to engage with the event and benefit long- term from enhanced opportunities for physical activity, health and wellbeing.”

Kate Drummond, Women’s Empowerment Programme Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, said:

“The cycling programme helps to build skills, overcome barriers to taking part in physical activity. It helps support women with integration, tackles social isolation and reminds women they are not alone and can take control of their futures, and build greater equality for women and girls.

“The additional funding from the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund has been invaluable in enabling us to continue to develop this programme.”

Annette Paterson, Retail Manager, Buchanan Galleries, said:

We are delighted to announce our official partnership with the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund. This is a fantastic initiative that supports community-based groups to develop sustainable and accessible cycling projects across the city.

“The upcoming World Cycling Championships in Glasgow is the perfect platform to extend commitment to a fund that will have a long-lasting impact as part of the city’s wider plans to promote and encourage active travel. Projects across Glasgow can apply for support, and we believe that initiatives like this are an important part of a city’s transition to a greener future.”

To celebrate and connect with the upcoming World Championships the GAU Women’s Empowerment Group will be having a led ride session with their families as part of the GO LIVE! programme on Friday 4 August, leaving from the Maryhill Community Sport Hub.