Cycling Minds CIC

Cycling Minds CIC

Our mission is to use cycling to heal and protect the mental and physical health of local people facing struggles in their lives by providing them with opportunities to cycle and engage with the local cycling community.

Key information


Toby Price

General Manager




5 Holly Close



About Cycling Minds CIC



Cycling Minds CIC was incorporated in Hexham (Northumberland) in November 2021 by three locals with a love of cycling. From the beginning, our core social purpose and how we fulfil this has been inspired by and informed through extensive talks with numerous local social and health care providers, principally: The Living Well Service (managing social prescribing for the 14 GP surgeries in West Northumberland); Northumberland County Council's Public Health, Well-being and Adult Social Care Services; the charities Adapt North East (working to improve the quality of life of people with mental health problems and who are disadvantaged in being able to access services because they live in a rural location); and Hextol Foundation (); as well as other local charities and community initiatives such as Hexham Youth Initiative, Stop Gap Supported Housing and Number 28 Community Project.

All these organisations have reported a lack of options for them to signpost their service users to organisations offering sports-related activities, particularly sports that are non-competitive and outdoors. Cycling Minds is helping to fill this gap by delivering free guided e-bike rides to the people these referral partners signpost to us. By doing so, we form part of the social prescribing landscape in Northumberland and work with link workers to incorporate cycling into our participants person-centred care plans.

We have found that the key benefits of taking part in our Step On(e) guided rides programme are a reduction in social isolation, increased self-confidence and improved fitness. Combined with this, programme participants are more likely to continue cycling after completing the programme and are also presented with opportunities to interact with the local cycling community through campaigning, joining a cycle club or just meeting likeminded people wanting to ride together through Cycling Minds in a fun, sociable and nurturing environment.

Since launch, our project has been extremely well received by funders, with 80% of our applications being accepted. We see this as a seal of approval for Cycling Minds and the range of funders who are supporting us also demonstrates how our project has positive outcomes in numerous spheres such as enhancing public health (social prescribing), supporting people with special education needs and reducing anti-social behaviour by providing diversionary activities, to name but a few. We are presently funded by Northumberland County Council, Sport England, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, The National Lottery Community Fund, the Community Foundation, the Evan Cornish Foundation, the Clothworkers’ Foundation, The Joicey Trust, M&S, The Vulcain Group and Localgiving Magic Little Grants.


A link in a bigger chain

As well as making a difference at an individual level, Cycling Minds also makes a contribution to cycling development by campaigning for better cycling infrastructure and educating people about cycling. Knowing the safest and most fun routes, how to carry out roadside repairs and how to ride safely in traffic are all challenges that often stop non-cyclists from taking up cycling. By delivering cycling classes and other activities in the local community, we are boosting the uptake of cycling. We also work with local businesses to develop cycling schemes for their staff as part of their CSR actions.


Our values

Nurture togetherness: We are one community, one team, working toward a common goal: to enhance everyone's well-being.

Empower the individual: We create opportunities for personal development through enhanced self-confidence and social inclusion.

Facilitate change: We serve as a launchpad from which cycling-based projects and community action can take off and flourish.

Solve local problems: We are convinced the health of the local economy and people can be improved through cycling and finding ways to achieve this lies at the heart of what we do.

Our leadership

Toby Price (Volunteer General Manager): Cycling Minds was envisaged by Toby who is a freelance Spanish translator, a keen cyclist and has experienced first-hand how cycling can play a role in overcoming mental illness. A Velotech Gold accredited bike mechanic and British Cycling Level 2 qualified ride leader, Toby ran a popular free bike repair service for key workers during the first Covid-19 lockdown, and it was that experience that gave him the inspiration to establish Cycling Minds to help local people to cycle more.


Dominic Cook (Volunteer Non-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 Williams (Volunteer Non-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 bunch of like-minded road cyclists.


Advisory Board

We couldn’t have got Cycling Minds up and riding without the invaluable support of our Advisory Board of volunteer experts in different fields including: Ted Liddle , cycling development and tourism specialist; Thomas Hardy, Twelfth City Cyclery bike shop owner; Justin Rowntree from SweetSpot, former advisor and fundraiser for a successful social enterprise working with young people with mental health challenges (Blend Kitchen ); Stef Anderson, former Fundraising and Communications Lead at Ouseburn Farm Charity in Newcastle; Linz Philips, former EVP at Sage and board member of Dynamo North East and Digital Leaders; and Tania Thomas, former Team Leader of the NHS Living Well Service.


Our ambassadors

Dr Ollie Hart has joined Cycling Minds as an ambassador and advisor, 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. Known as Doc on a Bike after he pledged to swap a car for an e-bike for his work as a GP Partner and 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 Holmes 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.


Our patron

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. A happy and healthy Hexham – a win-win!"