Andrew Holdstock

Volunteer of the Year for South West England, Andrew Holdstock

Andrew Holdstock

Volunteer of the Year for South West England, Andrew Holdstock.

Andrew is a life-long cyclist and always cycles to work wherever possible, setting an example to others in his capacity as a teacher over the past 24 years; he taught not only his own children to cycle but also their friends, and they would cycle to school rather than lift share. He also encouraged their parents to let them ride and would often do maintenance work for them all as well.

He used to organise the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award in his area, covering the cycling aspect of it as well as taking both his own children and their friends on camping holidays in France and Cornwall. He began in earnest to spread the message about cycling at school when a farm trip for 14 year olds was cancelled due to Foot and Mouth Disease: he organised a cycling and camping trip to Brittany for them instead. Next, he began to prepare the 15 and 16 year olds to cycle to a residential camping survey trip, spread over two weeks each year. He gave cycling lessons in his own time and worked very hard to support the parents to be able to provide a roadworthy bike for each of the students.

Since then, he has worked on training up a group of parents in each class to help with the cycling element of the trip and worked weekly with the 14–16 year olds, instructing them on how to cycle safely on the road. Now he gives free cycling lessons to parents of classes of 12 year olds and upwards. In order to progress this, he became a National Standards Cycling Instructor and takes each class for a block of 6 or 7 weeks with the parents he has trained up. He has managed to enrol 2 staff who have qualified as NSIs themselves and, in the process, is also training as an Instructor Trainer under Cycle Experience’s auspices, with the aim of training up more parents as cycling instructors themselves.

The day of the Bikeability launch in Cornwall during the summer of 2007, he caught the early train down from Totnes and then cycled from St Austell to Newquay to help other instructors run activities for the children who turned out to demonstrate their new found skills for the media and officials.

He is now actively working on introducing people to the merits of electric assisted bikes which he feels will greatly improve the chances of getting people out of their cars: for that reason, he has held taster days at school and registered with CycleScheme for Rudolph Steiner teachers and staff to be able to get tax-free bikes.