Welcome to the Greater Manchester Bike Buddy project

Wheels for All launches Expression of Interest for Bike Buddy Programme, in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester

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Accessible cycling charity Wheels for All - partnering with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) – is looking to equip three organisations across Greater Manchester to foster a cycling culture with their service users through its Bike Buddy programme.

Wheels for All specialises in supporting disabled people to cycle at their inclusive cycling centres across England and Wales, as well as supporting a large number of independent cycling programmes to deliver inclusive cycling opportunities. This involves providing adapted bikes and trained staff and volunteers to make cycling as fun and accessible as possible.

The Bike Buddy programme was created during the pandemic to support disabled people, people with long-term health conditions and older-aged people to keep active and get around their communities using an adapted cycle. The programme begins with support from Wheels for All and then passes through to an individual’s support network, giving people the appropriate training to guide and mentor an individual in their care to cycle and be active. Bike Buddy focuses on giving people the skills, knowledge and confidence to cycle from their front door or from the settings of their care and support organisation.

Heading up the project is Caroline Powrie, who is Wheels for All’s Bike Buddy Coordinator in Greater Manchester. She says:
“We are immensely grateful to Transport for Greater Manchester for their commitment to and enthusiasm about this project. We are looking to partner with up to three organisations from across Greater Manchester to enable their staff, volunteers and participants to embrace cycling as a regular activity for everyone to enjoy.

“Cycling is a fantastic leisure activity for all ages. It gets people out and about in all kinds of different environments and is brilliant for improving overall fitness, raising levels of activity generally, and boosting your overall mental health and wellbeing. We’re passionate about encouraging all kinds of people in every circumstance, age and ability to get on a cycle and have fun.”

Alice Carter from Transport for Greater Manchester said:
“Enabling everyone to choose active travel modes for everyday journeys is central to our transport vision for a cleaner, greener, and healthier region, and our aim of making Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old. Wheels for All’s focus on providing programmes that deliver accessible cycling for all is exactly the kind of project we wish to support; breaking down inclusion and accessibility barriers and helping more people across Greater Manchester access the health and well-being, social and environmental benefits of getting out on a bike.
Bike Buddy is a truly exciting programme with huge potential for positive, long-lasting impact. We are greatly looking forward to supporting and working with Wheels for All and the three chosen groups, identified from these Expressions of Interest, in their first year of delivery and beyond.”

The three chosen organisations will receive support that includes:
• A fleet of adapted cycles (tricycles, recumbents, and hand cycles).
• Helmets and Hi Viz vests
• Lock and lights
• Cycle training
• Route planning
• Buddy support and participant mentoring
• Maintenance
• Support packages

Caroline Powrie concludes, ““We will offer the chosen organisations a package of cycling interventions and support that ultimately will create a sustainable cycling culture within their own setting and with their service users. We’re inviting local disabled people’s organisations and support services to submit an Expression of Interest by 30th September 2022 to be eligible for consideration.”

Any local organisation or charity who wishes to submit an Expression of Interest can obtain the relevant information at the bottom of this article.

Wheels for All, based in Warrington, is the leading national UK cycling charity which promotes inclusive cycling through a range of successful programmes that give people the opportunity to cycle on a regular basis through offering adapted cycles, support and guidance in fun and safe environments.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Introduction
Bike Buddy gives disabled people and those leading a sedentary lifestyle the opportunity to be active through cycling. It creates a cycling culture for each of the partner organisations involved in the project.
The Bike Buddy begins with support from Wheels for All, and then through regular engagement passes through to an individual’s support network, giving people the appropriate training to guide and mentor an individual in their care to cycle & be active. The programme focusses on giving people the skills, knowledge and confidence to cycle from their front door or from the settings of their care and support organisation.

The aim of this project is to ‘test and learn’ through a range of innovative approaches that enable disabled people and their support networks to experience cycling as a credible lifestyle choice by creating a long-lasting cycling culture in their settings.
Key Components
• Developing & delivering an inclusive cycling activities in coalition with disability organisations
• Understanding the need and demand from participants and partner organisations.
• Delivering inclusive activities needed and appropriate for the target audience.
• Designing and delivering appropriate training and induction programmes focussed on the participants and their support settings.
• The creation of cross departmental partnerships bringing together transport, leisure, education, children’s services, adult social care, and health sector.
What we will offer
We will offer the selected organisation a period of cycling interventions and support packages that ultimately will create a sustainable cycling culture within your setting.
This will be supported by-
• A fleet of adapted cycles (tricycles, semi-recumbent tricycles, and hand cycles).
• Helmets and Hi Viz vests
• Lock and lights
• Cycle training
• Route planning
• Buddy support and participant mentoring
• Maintenance

For more information please contact – Caroline Powrie
Caroline.powrie@wheelsforall.org.uk mob 07849853705

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