Hundreds of Sustrans volunteers celebrate at Festivol in Bristol

Men and women volunteers for Sustrans enjoy Festivol

Volunteers gather in Bristol for the three day Festivol celebration

24 September 2018

Volunteers from across the UK arrived in Bristol for a special celebration that took place on Friday 14 September to Sunday 16 September.

Held over three days at locations across Bristol, Festivol is a special celebration to thank volunteers for their time, contribution and commitment to us.

We have over 3,500 people across the UK who regularly volunteer for us. Volunteers give their time to help with everything from supporting children to cycle and scoot, to maintaining the National Cycle Network - 16,000 miles of path that is enjoyed by approximately five million people every year.

A celebration and inspiration

Katie Aartse-Tuyn, Sustrans Volunteer Programme Manager said Festivol was a celebration and an inspiration, bringing together Sustrans volunteers, staff and supporters from across the UK. She said:

“Everyone got involved in learning and sharing skills, supporting mass volunteering activities along the Bristol and Bath railway path and listening to inspiring presentations from the past and future vision of Sustrans.

“I certainly left the event feeling re-invigorated and inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and action carried out by those who support us."

Volunteers are what makes Sustrans special

Xavier Brice said volunteers were at the heart of the work that we do.

“Our volunteers are what make Sustrans special. Their passion and dedication to making it easier for people to walk and cycle is vital in helping us to achieve our vision of happier, healthier communities and a better environment for us all.”

The iconic Bristol and Bath Railway path changes lives

James Cleeton, Director of Sustrans England South added that Festivol is a celebration of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, and the efforts of our volunteers to build it, maintain it and secure its future. He said:

“Our volunteers maintain large amounts of the of the National Cycle Network, but no other route is as iconic as the Bristol and Bath Railway Path.

"As our original project it has literally changed the direction of millions of people’s lives.

“It was a delight to spend time with nearly 60 volunteers, some of who were local but the majority came from all over the UK to take part in the mass workday.

"I spent several hours working with Roger from Redditch and Dan from Abergavenny clearing grass, soil and litter from the entrance to the Staple Hill tunnel.”

The One Path Initiative

Last month we launched the One Path initiative on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path to help raise awareness of rising conflict on the path and encouraging positive behaviour.

James Cleeton added:

“We are committed to a Bristol and Bath Railway Path that is a safe space: a park, path and place for all users, by foot or by wheel, enabling healthy lifestyles in a green and biodiverse corridor linking the two cities and communities across the West of England Combined Authority.”

Would you like to volunteer with us? Find out more about volunteering with Sustrans