If there isn’t a local WalkRide group in your area, we’ll help you set one up. Drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give the support you need. Below are a few ideas for getting your local WalkRide group up and running with the momentum to make it a success.
Set up social media accounts using WalkRide [XYZ]
Social media are excellent tools for spreading the message. We’ve typically been using Twitter and Facebook to engage with people, but if you have any ideas about how we could use other platforms, we’re all ears!
It may also make sense to set up a localised website, which can be done relatively quickly. See the WalkRide Romiley page, for example. If this appeals, get in touch and we’ll give you the assistance you need.
If you’d like a dedicated email@example.com email address for your group, we can also arrange that.
Inform councillors / stakeholders to gain their support
Councillors are the obvious people to get on board as they’re the ones who ultimately take the decisions on what happens in the borough. Try to get them actively involved rather than just saying they support the group’s aims – that way their engagement will have a greater impact. Councillors’ email addresses are available through your council website.
If there is a neighbourhood watch group or neighbourhood forum then tell them too. The key thing is casting your net as widely as possible, including local schools, Brownie/cub/scout/guide groups, play groups… anyone who is likely to be interested in making the local streets nicer and safer. To start with you will probably be preaching to the choir but the more normal people (i.e. not hardcore cyclists) you can get on board quickly, the better.
Local traders are also key stakeholders. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that enabling better walking and cycling access to high streets can significantly boost trade, so getting local businesses on side is a key goal. If there are any local traders’ associations, engage with them and get them involved at as early a stage as possible.
Host a public meeting to assess and develop the support within the local community and establish your key objectives
Find a central, accessible location. Some groups use pubs; others, community spaces such as libraries, depending on what’s available in your area. Promote the meeting using a mixture of social and traditional media such as posters in shops. Contact us for poster templates.
When you’re ready to host your first meeting, head over to our Hosting a WalkRide meeting page for tips and inspiration on how to engage your local community.