Our Social Mission
Poor mental health and long-term unemployment is a reality for many of our young people today. Cycling Minds CIC was incorporated in Hexham (Northumberland) in November 2021 by three locals with a love of cycling and a mission to address both these major issues facing young people in West Northumberland struggling to engage with society and the job market, find their way in life and fulfil their full potential – especially those experiencing poor mental health and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds. We provide our programme participants free access to an e-bike to take part in our Step On(e) guided ride programme, principally to help enhance their mental and physical health but also to encourage them to join Cycling Minds which will act as an anchor organisation, providing them with opportunities to interact with the local cycling community, receive training through our Persevere to Succeed programme as bike mechanics and ride leaders and in customer service to be able to volunteer (and eventually gain paid work) with Cycling Minds in a fun, sociable and nurturing environment.
From the beginning, Cycling Minds’ core social purpose, mission and how it fulfils this has been inspired by and informed through extensive talks with numerous local social and health care providers as well as other local charities and community initiatives. They have been hugely enthusiastic about Cycling Minds because, as they have pointed out, it targets an age group that is currently underprovided for in Northumberland. Referrers report a lack of options for them to signpost the young people they care for to organisations offering sports-related activities for that cohort, particularly sports that are non-competitive and outdoors. Cycling Minds helps fill this gap while also going a step further and giving our young beneficiaries a chance to gain a foothold in the labour market.
Ultimately, Cycling Minds aims to establish a virtuous circle where we leverage cycling as a sport to engage young people initially and then foster a long-lasting relationship with them so that they can develop the skills and knowledge needed to work with us as active participants in developing a permanent home for our community cycle hub (The Link) and ambassadors for cycling in their local communities.
The project is funded by providing a raft of cycling-related services in Hexham and the surrounding area from The Link. All surpluses generated by Cycling Minds are put back into the project to increase how many young people we can help and to offer subsidised and free bikes and bike repairs to customers on low incomes and run free bike skills sessions and guided rides for the local community.
As a community-interest company limited by guarantee, Cycling Minds is an asset-locked body meaning all its assets can never be cashed in by private individuals or companies for their own gain and must be transferred to another CIC or charity if it were wound up. Cycling Minds’ assets would be transferred en bloc to the local charity The Hextol Foundation.