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Cycling for all!

Air pollution is a major problem in the UK, especially for people living in and near major cities. Recently the Centre for Cities charity revealed that more than one in 19 deaths in Britain are linked to air pollution, with people living in UK towns and cities being 25 times more likely to die from long-term exposure to poisonous air than a car crash.

It’s scary stuff. And these figures don’t even take into account the people living with the serious problems that poor air quality causes.

And while we wait for policies to be put in place to curb toxic air, we all know of one of the major causes and how we can begin to tackle it. Petrol and diesel vehicles are a major contributor to air pollution in the UK, with the most polluted areas being found next to the busiest roads.

Cleaner, greener roads
A shift towards cleaner forms of transport is essential to cleaning up the quality of our air and while the shift to electric vehicles will play a big part in reducing harmful emissions, there are many who believe in an altogether greener and healthier form of transport - cycling.

On our bikes
And, as we all know, cleaner air isn’t the only benefit of cycling. Getting more people to make journeys by bike would have a major positive impact on the nation’s health and wellbeing, reducing the risks of obesity, coronary heart disease, strokes and cancers to name but a few.

Added to that the potential reduction in serious road traffic accidents and an increase in mental wellbeing, it’s hard to see why taking up cycling as part of your daily routine or commute isn’t being promoted more aggressively by health bodies and policy-makers.

Cycling for all
Unfortunately, for some people, safe and suitable cycling equipment and support are not easily accessible. Whether it’s due to physical disabilities, age, or lack of local education, for many, simply ‘getting on your bike’ isn’t really an option.

York-based social enterprise Get Cycling has spent 11 years supporting newcomers into cycling: both locally and nationally. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise, which has built a successful business retailing specialist bikes for disabled people, families and cyclists of all ages, boasting the UK's largest and most interesting fleet of unusual and conventional cycles for sale and hire as well as organising cycling roadshows and events around the UK.

Now, all Get Cycling’s activities in events, training and programmes are being transferred into a new charity, The Get Cycling Community Benefit Society, and this will be financed partly by community shareholders.

Helping more people access cycling
Get Cycling CBS activities give people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to try out cycling in a fun and supportive environment. They offer everything from a single pedal-powered ‘arcade’ game to month-long regional tours. These can be about cycling or can use fun on bikes to promote health and activity awareness. They are already bringing exciting cycling experiences to city centres, schools, care homes, universities, community groups, public events and workplaces.

But they want to do more. Get Cycling CBS plan to grow their events activities in the coming years, to include a mobile College of Cycling and disability cycling holidays, which will engage over 40,000 people each year. This will help communities become more cycle-friendly, healthy, happy, environment-friendly and equitable.

A tax-efficient investment
To help them fund their plans for expanding their events activities, Get Cycling CIC has launched a share offer and they are already over 60% of the way to their £200,000 target. But they need to reach this amount by 11th March 2020, to enable them to proceed with their plans.

The share offer lets people invest from £750 and is targeting 4% annual returns. In addition to that, investments in the Get Cycling share offer are eligible for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) at 30%, dependent on an individual's tax status.

Find out more about the Get Cycling CBS share offer here.

Please note that capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

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