- By London Cycling Campaign on at 12:00am 19 November 2006
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Haringey Mencap have created ‘North London Access to Cycling’ to support and encourage people with learning disabilities to access cycling. They already run a borough-wide project called Active London (co-ordinated by the London Sports Forum for Disabled People) to get residents with disabilities involved in physical exercise. At an Active London consultation and try-out sports day in June 2005, participants tried cycling on loaned adaptive bikes and cycling emerged as by far the most popular choice of activity that they would like to be involved in. The consultation day highlighted 27 people who will initially be targeted for the cycling project with many more expressing interest since then.
Project development and outcomes
- Equipment purchased
- Equipment stored at the Eastway Cycle Track. This is an interim measure until more local storage is arranged
- A weekly ‘bikebus’ transports participants to the Eastway track
- Organisation in progress for local special needs school - William C Harvey – to have weekly sessions
- Strong links established with the Pedal Power Cycling Club for People with Disabilities, who store their equipment and run sessions at Eastway Track and in Victoria Park, Hackney
- Invaluable experience and good practise has been gained from relationship with Pedal Power and equipment, resources and staff shared
Haringey Mencap staff member funded by LCC to train as a cycle instructor
The CLPP grant is providing the target group of adults and children with the equipment necessary to take part in regular cycling activities. A Duet Wheelchair tandem will enable wheelchair users to take part. Two adult trikes have been purchased along with a child’s tricycle ‘tag-along’ attachment for younger participants. Two standard wheel bikes have also been purchased along with a selection of helmets, locks and insurance.
In order to maximise the use of the cycles and offer a practical service to people in the local area, Haringey Mencap were keen to secure lock-up storage for their bicycles locally. This has now been achieved on-site in Finsbury Park – this ensures easy access to the bikes and then instant access to suitable routes.
Haringey Mencap are alos working in c,ose partmership with Pedal Power Cycling Club for people with disabilities, sharing staff, resources and running joint sessions.
The group have now received a two year funding package from the CLPP grants scheme. They will use this to pay for more equipment and further staff time to run as many sessions for as many people as possible. They will also advise and link in with a project being set up by Haringey Social Services to provide cycling activities for disabled people within the borough.
This vital community work could not be done without the support of our membership. The best way to ensure more local communities are introduced to the benefits of cycling is to become a member today.