Penarth's Sustrans volunteer group wins award for promoting cycling in the Welsh capital

Penarth Times: PRESENTATION: John Griffiths AM presenting the Sustrans Volunteer Group award to Chris Bleach, Sustrans Volunteer Group Coordinator PRESENTATION: John Griffiths AM presenting the Sustrans Volunteer Group award to Chris Bleach, Sustrans Volunteer Group Coordinator

CARDIFF and Penarth’s Sustrans volunteer group is celebrating after winning the charity’s ‘Volunteer Group of the Year’ award for their work to promote cycling in the Welsh capital.

The group won the award for their varied activities; including regular workdays to maintain sections of the National Cycle Network (NCN), providing information stands at community events and in libraries across the city, and working with Cardiff Council on the city’s cycling festival, including organising the end of festival quiz.

The group were also commended for their range of social events, which has fostered a real community spirit among the volunteers.

The charity has 3,500 volunteers across the UK who help perform a wide-range of tasks, including keeping cycle ways in tip-top condition and organising led bike rides, helping to train youngsters and putting on events with local organisations.

Group co-ordinator Chris Bleach was presented with the award by John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, and Cllr Graham Hinchey of Cardiff Council on the Senedd steps on Monday, December 9.

“As a group, we are delighted to have picked up this award,” said Chris Bleach.

“We have some phenomenally dedicated volunteers, here in Cardiff, who are very committed to support the city in becoming more walk and cycle-friendly. It’s been a great deal of work, but we have enjoyed it enormously and hope to build on our success over the coming months and years.”

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, said: “This award is a fitting tribute to the commitment Sustrans volunteers have shown to promote cycling, working with local organisations and publicising routes.

“We want Wales to be a place where cycling and walking are the most normal and natural ways of getting around and with the Active Travel Act we are leading the way in achieving this goal.

“I look forward to the continued support of Sustrans and their committed volunteers in fulfilling the aspirations of the Act and congratulate you on achieving this recognition.”

Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transportation, Cllr Graham Hinchey, said: “Congratulations to the Sustrans volunteers in receiving this award. The team of volunteers have really helped us as a Council to develop and promote active travel across the city. Their knowledge and help has really been a valuable resource in developing the cities cycle network Enfys, helping to promote the network.

“I would also like to add that the team of volunteers have played a key role in this year’s Cardiff cycle festival. The volunteers helped staff our hub on St Mary Street, which gave the public a central location to find out more information about cycling in the city and about the event. They are a truly dedicated team who thoroughly deserve this award.”

Jane Lorimer, National Director of Sustrans Cymru, said: “Our volunteers are a vital part of what we do, helping many people across Wales to get out and about on two wheels, exploring their local area and beyond. This award is just a small token of our appreciation – as a charity we couldn’t do nearly as much without their support and hard work.

“The Cardiff group are just exceptional, but right across Wales we are so grateful to all the work of our volunteers.”

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