On Wednesday 26th October, we were thrilled to gather the current round of Cycling Grants London projects together at Impact Hub Westminster for our 2016 Celebration Event. It was a chance for project leaders to meet, share stories, and celebrate all the hard work they do to make cycling accessible across London.
The night kicked off with an introduction from Hannah Baker and Martin Petry of Groundwork London, and Transport for London’s Lizi Mountford (Community Engagement Manager). Followed by a screening of a short film profiling the work and beneficiaries of three Cycling Grants London projects: This Girl Can BMX (Access Sport), Somerville Safer Cycling Families (Somerville Youth and Play Provision) and the LD Cycling Experience (ACC CP). You can view the film here:
Transport for London greeted guests with a display stand offering London cycling maps and cycling paraphernalia, as well as the opportunity to win prizes through a short cycling quiz. Case studies and photography were also on exhibition at the venue, which gave everyone a chance to learn about the work of Hackney Bike Workshop, Summer of Cycling (Misgav) , Somerford Grovers Community Bike Project (Haringey Play Association), Build A Bike Course (The Connection at St Martins), Ability Bikes (West Euston Partnership) and Wheel Life (Oasis Children’s Venture).
Representatives from Brothers on Bikes, Wheels for Wellbeing and Leyton Orient Trust shared their insights from their past year of activities. Much of the knowledge shared by the groups had been discovered by learning through delivering their projects, and is likely to be valuable to a range of community engagement projects.
All good celebration events call for awards. This year we celebrated;
Finally, we saw the evening out with a (casual) competition on Martin’s turbo bike. There was a fairly energetic cycle-off to see who could clock the fastest half-mile. Some contestants may have been weakened by the large numbers of chocolate brownies eaten beforehand - but there were some impressive times on the leaderboard by the end of the night.
Why I enjoy helping people to cycle
Throughout the event, groups were invited to share their experiences. We asked everyone to tell us why they enjoy helping people to cycle, and here’s what they said:
“To experience the joy of freedom and exercise and fitness.”
“Because it makes them self-reliant”
“I’m too old to set any more of my own personal bests, but can help others to set new ones of their own.”
“Enjoy sharing skills, enjoy people, desire more cyclists, cleaner air quality, more carbon-neutral transport in my city, also to assist in growing community.”
“I work with those often in isolation and low income, with complex and severe mental health needs. The enjoyment they get from the weekly sessions is amazing. The best part is seeing them all come back from rides smiling, laughing and having fun.”