Streetbikes Cycling Project enables people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to pedal their way to better health and wellbeing. Based in Kirklees, Yorkshire, the project has a range of bikes - including some adapted for people with disabilities - to suit everyone and provides a valuable service for vulnerable people. While events and activities are open to the community, there is a particular focus on addressing health problems and helping people from deprived or disadvantaged areas. Mixed ability sessions allow people with disabilities to ride machines such as hand cycles, tandems, wheelchair bikes and trikes away from the roads, as well as the chance to get out on the highway with community rides.
Streetbikes runs family and women-only rides, cycle and bike mechanic training, and recycles unwanted or broken sets of wheels, donating them to financially challenged people. Since launching five years ago, beneficiaries have included teenagers who have used donated bikes to ride to college as well as a grandmother-of-six who had not cycled since she was thirteen years old. Schools have also taken part, with students being given the confidence to ride safely to school.
National Lottery funding awarded two years ago has enhanced all aspects of the programme. Clare Taylor, who works at Streetbikes, has direct experience of its impact. She says: "My sisters have learning difficulties and weight issues. Since coming to Streetbikes they have lost weight and improved their confidence, social skills and made lots of new friends."
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