Posted: 7 March, 2023
I got involved in Wheels for All five years ago when my wife passed away. I was at a loose end when I
happened to meet met Nancy (Programme Manager) and she said I should come and have a look at what they did. So, I went along and I just really loved it! I do the Pedal Away rides as well as Wheels for All sessions.
Firstly I did my Ride Leader training and I was starting to do regular rides with the Pedal Away group. I kept seeing a shoutout for more volunteers for Wheels for All. As soon as I saw a session, I could see how much everyone loved coming and using the cycles. I was hooked! I do two or three sessions a week now. When you have 15 kids turn up and they’re all made up, that’s what it’s all about.
The best thing about volunteering is seeing the happy faces! A group will arrive and either you go out with them or you set them up on the cycles with helmets and watch them head off. When they come back, they are so appreciative, laughing, and just having a great time.
Some people in the centres we work with might not get to go out at all during the day if we weren’t there. They’d be stuck inside all the time, so heading off on the bikes is a real highlight.
They come to our sessions and they’re out in the fresh air, working their legs or arms, depending on which cycles they go on.
The helpers that come with them really appreciate it too, because it’s somewhere different that they can bring their charges, so it’s a real benefit for everyone.
Volunteering has been tremendous. I started on just that one session and didn’t think it would go any further but I really enjoy it and I love helping. I like the mechanical side as well – I’m quite handy, so I can do repairs on the cycles. It has had a significant impact on my life, and the participants who attend my sessions have become friends, so it’s been a great opportunity to meet new people as well.
To anybody thinking of volunteering, I’d say just come along and see. I think the majority of people who help out find it really beneficial and they see the wonderful impact it has on others. So just have a go. Come for one session or come and have a look at what we do. Maybe you will be as hooked as I was!
Download Dave’s story here.