Giving Theory Impact

The Cambridge Cycling Campaign (CamCycle) is a charity with 1280 members run by volunteers and 2 part‐time staff, a Communications and Community Officer and a Cycling Campaign
Officer. Founded in 1995, their aim is safer, better and more cycling in the Cambridge area, where about half of the local population uses a bike at least once a month. Many
of the cycle facilities such as paths, lanes, traffic signals, bridges and cycle parks would not exist without the work delivered by CamCycle members.

The Cycling Campaign Officer was initially motivated to attend the Cambridge CVS workshop ‘Measuring the difference you make: An Introduction to Social Impact’ because she was aware of the emphasis funders put on Impact and she wanted to ensure her organisation was up to speed. She also wanted to explore the use of the Theory of Change (ToC) model to focus campaign efforts and to help move the organisation forward.

At this stage CamCycle had only recently employed her as their first paid member of staff and they were embarking on a new phase of growth and development.

The Workshop provided an opportunity for all those attending to spend time reflecting on what their organisation exists to achieve, and how they are currently working to deliver their aims. Those attending were able to share their ideas and experiences and collaborate in group activities. The workshop helped participants to review some planning models including ToC and, rather than just
viewing impact measurement as a funder requirement, CamCycle realised the benefits of using it to guide how they could prioritise and consolidate their activities to help them deliver their aims.

Following the workshop CamCycle developed their own Theory of Change model, (which features in their annual report) enabling them to create clarity on how the organisation needs to move forward. CamCycle see their Theory of Change as a living model which can be adapted as new factors are brought in to play.

The workshop provoked an important change in the way CamCycle look at project planning. Taking a ToC approach they now look at what needs to happen to achieve the desired impact and develop activities that will deliver defined outcomes. They intend to produce an impact model for each new project they embark on in order to give it the chance to have the greatest impact.


Roxanne De Beaux their Cycling Campaign Officer stated:

The workshop was a great starting point and created a shift in my mindset helping guide my thinking on how we could plan change and communicate why and how we achieve this change to everyone involved.


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