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The LCC team expands

Thanks to LCC members and Patrons, we've been able to recruit two new faces to our team. This is a short blog to introduce new LCC staff Katy and Suami, and how they're here to help make your cycling more fun and safe.

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Introducing Suami and Katy

Meet Suami Rocha, our Climate Safe Streets Campaign Officer

Suami joins us as our Climate Safe Streets Officer. #ClimateSafeStreets is our campaign to make London’s road network zero-carbon by 2030, by enabling cycling as mass transportation, and supporting Londoners and visitors with the tools and infrastructure to use non-driving transportation and mobility modes, such as cargo bike share clubs. You can find out more on our campaign page.

How long have you been cycling in London for, Suami?

‘I moved to London from Brazil in 2005. Around a year later, I borrowed a friend’s bike to deal with a tube strike – serendipity! It’s now been a part of my London life for 15 years! What’s really great is how anyone can have free Cycle Skills sessions led by qualified Cycling Instructors funded by TfL – so spread the word!

What’s your role in the LCC team principally about?

‘My role as the Climate Safe Streets Campaign Officer is to roll out and support a network of volunteers across all of London’s boroughs – the LCC Climate Champions. These climate activists will lead the way in their local LCC groups by interrogating the Climate Emergency plans of London Boroughs before the local elections in May 2022. Our aim is to make sure these plans genuinely enable people to drive less and cycle more, in line with our #ClimateSafeStreets plan. London boroughs are very important for shaping the London cycling experience, and our Champions will be really key to making our case to Councillors and Council Officers. I’ve now been with LCC for two months.’

What’s the most important thing you want to focus on with LCC in 2021?

‘I’d like to put the tools in place for a network of LCC Climate Champions to grow. It’s really important that we recruit fresh campaign talent that is representative of London’s diversity; it’s crucial that the people making the case for safer and more enjoyable cycling, and our other #ClimateSafeStreets policy recommendations, reflect the communities we are in, and start working on holding the council to account on their commitment to action on the related climate and air pollution crises.’

What’s your favourite London cycling tip?

‘I really look forward to having family and friends come to visit London from overseas. For many years, I’ve taken them around London to see the sights, as any good host would. We used to walk a lot and use public transport. These days we can do a spectacular tour of London by bike mostly on protected cycle infrastructure, like in this route from Secret London. Routes like this are really great for sharing your love for cycling with friends and relatives!’

Meet Katy Rodda, our Network Co-Ordinator

LCC local groups are community-level volunteers who campaign to make their neighbourhoods safe and enjoyable places to cycle. Katy has joined LCC in the role of Network Co-Ordinator, to support our groups in their campaigning, and help them in winning better conditions in their areas.

How long have you been cycling in London for, Katy?

‘I started cycling in London to avoid the tubes and to get fitter for long leisure days at least two decades ago; I even cycled from Hertfordshire to Kensington on a 1950s 3-speed boneshaker a few times, which made me hungry! Since then I’ve commuted, reached meetings and social engagements. I now live on the south coast but I relish my regular visits to get my mojo back.’

What’s your role in the LCC team principally about?

‘I’m Network Coordinator, a new role aiming to bring together some of the work with local LCC groups into one place. I’m here to support our fantastic volunteers by coordinating training, setting up sessions to share expertise, and generally helping local groups take campaigns forward. We’re going to be working hard towards the May 2022 local elections, but there are other strands such as member recruitment, diversity and inclusion. It’s a two-way role, so I’m really looking forward to meeting reps from groups and getting to know the scene in your local group.’

What’s the most important thing you want to focus on in 2021?

‘I’d like to get a really good understanding of the local groups, there’s a huge amount of expertise as well as individuality to engage with. Once we’re learning positively about each other, I want to get things in place to help the local groups to make that difference, persuading and challenging their political candidates and decision-makers to commit, in public statements and actions, to a city fit for the future.’

Because I’ve also been working for Wheels for Wellbeing, I’ve seen how having the opportunity for freedom isn’t just a matter for non-Disabled people. Right now we’re at a critical point trying to make our streets more inclusive than they’ve ever been, restoring the social function of decades past combined with mobility options for more people.’

What’s your favourite London cycling tip?

‘Explore and keep exploring. It’s getting so much easier on the main network, but don’t forget to check out other streets, too – give yourself a little longer to go and find a new bakery or that landmark you’ve read about, especially if you’re visiting a new area. You’ll soon create your own personal network all over the city. Next on my list is the pyramid in Hawksmoor St Anne’s Limehouse churchyard, and the best route to Beigel Bake from the LCC office!’

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