Cycling Minds was envisaged by Toby Price, a keen cyclist and big believer in the power of cycling to improve not just physical but also mental health. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic when the nation’s well-being was suffering more than ever, Toby felt it was time to do something to support people across West Northumberland by introducing them to cycling and all its benefits.
Cycling Minds is a volunteer-run organisation and has a fantastic team of enthusiastic volunteers from all walks of life. Some are trained ride leaders and mechanics, others have experience working with people with additional needs, all are cyclists and have witnessed how taking people on group rides can have a notable impact on their happiness and self-confidence. As Cycling Minds’ beneficiaries also have the possibility of training as ride leaders themselves when the time is right, some of them will no doubt become volunteers and close what we see is a virtuous cycling circle.
Toby PriceGeneral Manager
Toby is a freelance Spanish translator specialising in finance, insurance, banking and the energy sector and has been a youth football coach with a local girls’ team in Hexham for four years. He is a keen cyclist and is a British Cycling Level 2 Ride Leader and a Velotech Gold accredited bike mechanic.
Dominic CookNon-Executive Director
Dominic is currently a director with one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consultancies, WSP. He has been involved with local community activities through the Hexham Round Table – treasurer for Hexham Round Table for two years, Chair for one year – helping to organise numerous community events and raise funds for local good causes. He competes in triathlons and has also been treasurer for the One Life triathlon club for three years.
Michael WilliamsNon-executive Director
Michael is Managing Director of Hexham based PDL Solutions (Europe) ltd. Outside of work, Michael volunteers as a Scout Section Assistant supporting a very active Scout group in Barrasford, and has recently gained further responsibility within the Explorers section. Michael has a passion for cycling, whether that be on the local trails on his mountain bike or on the many and varied Northumbrian country lanes with a team of like-minded road cyclists.
Dr Ollie HartClinical Director of Heeley Plus Primary Care Network and Director of Peak Health Coaching
Known as Doc on a Bike after he pledged to swap a car for an e-bike for his work as a GP partner in Sheffield, Dr Ollie Hart has joined Cycling Minds as an ambassador, attracted by our sports health and training programme which will make a valuable contribution to fulfilling the NHS’s targets for person-centred care and social prescribing under its Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care.
A Clinical Director of Heeley Plus Primary Care Network, Ollie is a personalised care lead with the Royal College of GPs, and one of two global Health and Wellbeing ambassadors for parkrun. He is also a director of Peak Health Coaching and has a strong interest in integrating conventional medical provision with addressing social determinants of health, sitting on the steering group of the national think tank, Rethinking Medicine. He has been at the forefront of championing person-centred care since 2014, engaging 70 GP practices to develop person-centred care skills.
John HolmesGovernor of Northumberland College
John, from Corbridge, is a retired Chartered Surveyor with a career in Development, Housing, Regeneration, Economic Development, Heritage Management and Tourism in both the public, private and charitable sectors. He now chairs the Bernicia Housing Group, is a Governor of Northumberland College, is a Trustee of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Development Trust and is a volunteer driver for a local charity.
He has always been passionate about cycling and has taken part in many coast-to-coast rides and several fundraising rides including for a Rumanian children’s charity. His latest project is the Cuthbert Cycling Challenge which retraces the route that the monks took when they left Lindisfarne and eventually led to the building of the Cuthbert’s shrine in Durham Cathedral. John will do the entire ride of over 540 miles and work closely with Cycling Minds on seeking partnership support for legacy projects through his wide network of local business contacts..
Dr Suzanne Fairless-AitkenNorthumberland County Councillor and Hexham Town Councillor
We are proud to have as our patron Northumberland County Councillor and Hexham Town Councillor, Dr Suzanne Fairless-Aitken. Suzanne has experienced first-hand how cycling helps manage mental health and decided to support the project as patron because, in her words: “Cycling Minds very much ticks most of our list of priorities for Hexham – a sustainable social enterprise that will bring huge benefits to the health of residents and generate valuable tourism opportunities attracting visitors to the town. A happy and healthy Hexham – a win-win! It’s an opportunity for our youngsters to volunteer, be trained and learn essential life-skills which is until now unprecedented in the area – and this doesn’t even touch on the obvious, positive mental-health benefits of cycling, especially for those with post-lockdown issues that have been sadly all too noticeable among young people”.