Cycle trainer funded through LCC teams up with NHS

Roehampton Community Bike day

Pedal4Health, an organisation founded with help from the LCC community team, is providing Wandsworth NHS with 10 weeks of cycle training for families in Roehampton.

A programme of training and introductory rides are part of the Wheel Thing scheme aiming to get more people more active more often.

Co-operation between LCC, Pedal4Health, Wandsworth NHS and the Metropolitan Police is ensuring that even families without access to bikes can take part.

Rosie Tharp, Community Cycling Officer said, "A lot of people would love to cycle but genuinely can’t afford a bicycle. It seemed unfair that people who showed real enthusiasm for the programme were unable to take part so with Pedal4Health, the NHS and the generosity of the Met Police we worked out a plan."

The community bike day

On 20th June, the Met Police donated bikes to the Roehampton Community Bike Day and 3 mechanics worked tirelessly to restore them to a roadworthy state.

Once fixed up, the Roehampton Safer Neighbourhood Team were on hand to security tag all the bikes.

Set up in front of the library in Roehampton, families came along to register for the scheme or to watch the mechanics work their magic.

Five families pledged to take part in the course on the day and we generated a whole lot of interest for the programme with 3 further families registering at a later date as a result.

Positive feedback all round

Mother and daughter Suzanne and Debbie came along to find out what was going on and although Suzanne was really keen to take part in the programme, mum Debbie wasn’t so sure about cycling.

But Suzanne saw the bike she would be able to use and that was that. Suzanne managed to talk her mum around and she kindly agreed to give up Saturday mornings for the next 6 weeks to accompany her daughter on the rides. Lets hope Debbie becomes a convert.

Fred Ellis, founder of Pedal4Health was pleased with the turnout and the amount of interest the Community Bike Day generated:

'Over 30 people came along and some of them learned how to fix punctures and other maintenance skills. I hope that NHS Trusts in other boroughs will see what a success the day was and consider funding similar events. Cycling is good for health but it is also good for local communities.'