Wheels for All Tendring


In partnership with Essex Pedal Power, Wheels for All (WfA - The largest National Inclusive Cycling Charity in the UK) has launched its first-ever rollout of Adaptive Cycle Giveaways for eligible Tendring residents.

Wheels for All Tendring has already supported 12 residents with free adaptive cycles suitable for their disability or health condition. As well as cycles there will be a wraparound support programme for people to access such as, cycle confidence sessions, led rides and cycle maintenance with Wheels for All staff in partnership with the Essex Pedal Power team available to help. As part of Essex County Council’s Safer Greener Healthier campaign, cyclists will also benefit from membership to CyclingUK and access to safety items including tail flags and hi-viz jackets to increase their visibility on the roads.

Julie Bunnage, Wheels for All Tendring programme manager said: ‘We are so grateful to Sport England (LDP), NHS NE Essex Integrated Care Service (ICS), and Essex County Council Levelling Up fund, Essex Highways and Tendring District Council for their support in funding these adapted cycles. It’s exciting to be taking these hi-spec cycles out to the eligible applicants. We’ve found the most effective way to meet individual needs is to work 1-1 with each person.

We aim to make cycling accessible to disabled people and those with health conditions, intending to support each individual’s health and well-being. We have already seen signs that owning a cycle has encouraged some of the riders to become more active and make new social connections.’

We chatted with some of our Giveaway participants to hear what owning a cycle meant for them:

Ann, Ivy and Chris are all over 70 years of age. Each has health conditions that limit their daily activities, yet they all want to get more active and find new journeys to undertake on the roads of West Clacton. They met at the first Wheels for All weekend pop-up hub in the Martello Coach Park, Clacton. Ann (and Brian, her husband) appeared cruising down Wash Road on the approach to the hub.

Ann said: ‘We’ve just done 30 minutes from home on my trike, that’s the furthest we’ve been so far! My backside aches after but I’m going to keep at it so I can get a bit fitter.’

They had a quick cuppa with us, shared a few tales with Ivy and Chris, and then set off again on the coastal pathway, determined to make it home on an uphill ride…. uphill doesn’t phase our Ann!

Dan is 45 years old; over the past few years his cerebral palsy has led to a deterioration of his leg joints which has stopped him from safely using his trusted two-wheeled cycle. He received one of the Tomcat Dragon Trikes, which will be his to keep and use.

Dan said: ‘I’ve just received this awesome trike, yet due to my health issues I never thought I’d get to ride again! Wheels for All Tendring have assisted me to get my trike. I can get on and off easily which I couldn’t do on a conventional bike, I can reach the pedals, and I’m able to easily adjust the handlebars and seat. It gives me freedom again which I never thought I’d be able to get. I’m looking forward to spending even more time outdoors and cycling with my family.’

Angela is 67 years old; she has multiple health conditions which limit her daily activities. Compared with cycling on a two-wheeled cycle, owning a trike offers her more stability and security when riding. She recognises the benefits of cycling to build her strength and stamina.

Angela said: ‘I’ve already been out a few times, even though I’m in a lot of pain at the moment. I do the same route (Angela shared her Strava routes with us - very impressive!) during lunchtime when the roads are quiet. My husband comes too and encourages me to keep going. I’m determined to do ‘little and often’ and gradually build up the length of my rides. I’m really enjoying the challenge!’

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