Cyclist.ie has been successful with an Erasmus+ funding application to the European Commission, where we are one of seven partners collaborating on a brand new and exciting three year project. The name of it is Generations Pedaling for Inclusion and Climate Action or, in its abbreviated form, GenCy4In&ClimA.
For those less familiar with it, Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. We are delighted with this news as it will enable us to deepen our connections with organisations doing good cycling / environmental advocacy work in several European countries, and to help nurture a new generation of cycling campaigners in Ireland.
This story on our website summarises what the project is about, while this presentation (prepared by the lead organisation) provides more information on the partners (from Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Poland) and on the exchange trips happening in 2023, 2024 and 2025. And you can check out the brand new project website here (still under construction). Note that the main project themes (and work packages) are centred around Social Inclusion, Climate Action, Intergenerational Relationships and Cycling Promotion – all core campaigning areas for Cyclist.ie.
At this point, we want to find out if there are active members of our network who are interested in being part of the project. There will be a few different ways to get involved.
- Firstly, we will need one or two people, in addition to Damien, to attend (at least some of) the online Project Team Meetings, where we all check in with each other (say, over 1 to 1.5 hours) and plan the next strands of the project. These meetings typically take place once every month or six weeks or so.
- Secondly, we will be looking for participants to partake in, what are called, the LTTs (“Learning and Teaching Trips”) over the coming years. Cyclist.ie will be looking to send, maybe, 4/5/6 people on each trip (lasting 4 full days plus a day’s travel at either end – i.e. 6 days away in total per trip). The essence of these trips is doing multiple (mainly outdoor) learning activities with lots of people from different countries.
The draft schedule of trips is as follows:
– Corella (in Navarre, in the north of Spain), late March 2023
[Update note of 31.01.2023. Dates still to be confirmed. Also a possibility that this trip will take place around / during the week commencing Mon 24 April. Will be confirmed ASAP.]
– Waterford, last week in June 2023
– Azambuja (just north of Lisbon, Portugal), Oct 2023 (date TBC)
– Wodzislaw (in the south of Poland), Oct 2024 (date TBC)
– Estella (also in Navarre, near Pamplona in the North of Spain), June 2025 (date TBC).
- Thirdly, when the crew come to Dublin (sometime in late 2024) for the LTT, we will need plenty of helping hands to formulate and run a diverse programme with a focus on cycling advocacy / events, especially targeted at a youth / younger adult audience. The programme can plug into some events that we might be running anyway – all to be figured out. A decision about the date of the Dublin LTT meeting in 2024 will probably need to be made by mid/late 2023.
- Forth, there will be blogging work to do in between the LTTs. This will include penning stories for the project blog (reporting, for example, on what is happening in Ireland on various cycling advocacy fronts and linking to articles on https://cyclist.ie/ and https://www.dublincycling.com/), proofing articles drafted by those without English as a first language, posting articles and social media pieces about the LTT trips to our own platforms, and other bits and pieces.
- Finally, we will need a hand on the admin and project management side – mainly around making sure we get a good spread of our people attending the LTT trips, and keeping a careful track of expenses etc. This item links back to the first one above (on Project Team Meetings).
We are assuming that we may have more people interested in taking part in each LTT than there will be spaces available, so the Cyclist.ie Executive Committee (EC) is developing a fair and simple system to figure out who goes on the trips (and acts as ambassadors for Cyclist.ie). In Appendix I below, you can see the criteria we propose to use to assess applications (for the first trip anyway – we may tweak it subsequently). We also wish to flag it up here that we will require everyone going on trips away to be Garda Vetted in advance because five of the seven partner organisations are secondary schools. We will formalise the process around this soon, but in the meantime you might like to check out this ‘Garda Vetting’ web page.
As above, the first LTT will take place in Corella in the North of Spain from Thu 23 to Tue 28 March inclusive. [Update note of 31.01.2023. Dates still to be confirmed. Also a possibility that this trip will take place around / during the week commencing Mon 24 April. Will be confirmed ASAP.]
The trip will comprise four full days of activities, plus a day for travel at either end) and we expect we will be sending, maybe, 4, 5 or 6 people from Cyclist.ie on the trip. The trips will be fully paid for – to include travel, accommodation, food and all of the various indoor and outdoor activities. Note that with the new ferry services from Ireland to the north of Spain, which now take foot passengers and cyclists, we may look into weighing up the pros and cons of traveling over land and sea, as against flying, from the perspective of low carbon travel (but we will also consider the travel time and costs involved for each option, and hence the numbers of delegates we can support).
We are now seeking expressions of interest (EoI) from potential participants in attending this first LTT in Corella at the end of March, which promises to be an action-packed trip!
We ask that you submit a short letter of application (no more than two pages long) which explains why you would like to go on the trip and which responds to the criteria listed in Appendix I below. Please email [email protected] by latest Tuesday (night) 7th of Feb 2023 with your letter attached.
A sub-committee, comprising reps from the Cyclist.ie Executive Committee and from the board of DCC CLG / Cyclist.ie, will assess the applications, aiming to revert to (successful) applicants ASAP so that we can book our travel arrangements without delay.
Please discuss this opportunity with colleagues in your local cycling advocacy group as soon as possible. If you have any questions on any of the above, please email Damien by 6pm on Wed 25 Jan. Note that if there is lots of interest in the project or questions on the above, we may organise a special Zoom meeting (most likely during the week commencing Mon 30 Jan).
Appendix I – Criteria for Assessing Applications for Partaking in the first LTT trip to Corella in Spain
|Criterion||Further Details / Background / Explanation||Marks (out of 100)|
|1.||Member of a Cyclist.ie Member Group||The current list of groups is here. Please confirm that you are a member of your local cycling advocacy group – and include a copy of a short email from your group Chairperson or Coordinator confirming that (i) you are a member of that group and (ii) your Chair / Coordinator supports your application for being an ambassador for Cyclist.ie on the LTT.||Mandatory|
|2.||Active in your local group||Please describe in your letter of application what you have been active in within your own cycle campaigning / advocacy group, particularly over the last year. Extra marks for those who have been on the organising / Executive Committee of the local group and/or of Cyclist.ie.||35|
|3.||Enthusiasm, experience working with younger groups and broader skills!||The Erasmus+ trips are very much convivial gatherings of diverse people, brought together under common themes – in this case social inclusion, climate action, intergenerational relationships and cycling promotion / advocacy. If you are especially sociable / easy to get along with, or perhaps you play an instrument or sing a song or do a dance, or have experience working with younger groups (maybe in outdoor settings), please let us know in your application! These ‘softer skills’ are valued a lot in this project where it’s all about nurturing exchange between diverse groups.||35|
|4.||Younger adults||Erasmus+ focuses particularly on the youth and younger adults (see here), so we are especially keen that within the Cyclist.ie delegation we have at least some members who are under 30 years of age. Let us know if you are under 30 (but also 18 years or over).||10|
|5.||Language Skills||There are partners on the project from Spain, Portugal and Poland so it would be advantageous if you have (even basic) conversational Spanish, Portuguese or Polish. Please let us know in your application.||10|
|6.||Organised / Can help out with some basic admin||Besides the trips themselves, there is an amount of admin support work to help to manage the project well – plus a need to post lively / informative web articles and blog posts. Let us know in your letter of application if you are prepared to help out with this and/or if you have experience writing articles of various types. You will receive guidance and training on this as needed / appropriate.||10|
|Additional Criterion to be used in assessing all applications collectively, after the initial individual assessment has been completed|
|7||Diversity||For this project, we are keen for the Cyclist.ie delegation to be diverse in every sense of the term. We are especially keen to have a good spread of active members of our network from all around the country, both urban and rural, with a good gender balance and mix of backgrounds. Do please tell us a bit about yourself in your application!||To be considered before final team is chosen|