Inspire works to support and build the capacity of local residents, and the wider community, to overcome barriers and perceived barriers by providing a range of programmes and services for all members of the community. It delivers a number of activities as part of its youth programme from its youth centre, 2inspire, based on the Aylesbury estate.
Inspire had identified that local young people often stayed within their own parts of the estate, and had little social mobility. They saw that there was often little confidence for young people to explore? more out of their immediate vicinity and engage with other areas. Financial constraints meant that for many bike ownership, or access to a bike, was difficult to secure.
Inspire delivered a programme of different cycling events and activities. These included road cycling expeditions, mountain biking, velodrome cycling and bike polo sessions. Bikes were available to use by participants on a first come first served basis, and some participants also brought their own bikes.
Inspire tapped into its existing database of community centre users and wider networks to recruit participants. It achieved the highest proportion of female participants out of any previously run cycling programme. It aims to further increase female involvement in its cycling provision by targeting participants who take part in other sessions which are often largely attended by young women, such as dance programmes.
The project engaged participants who may have a history of difficult behaviour. Through the course of the programme the project saw many of these people grow in confidence and act as mentors for other more junior members. This has provided valuable skill development that has much broader usage than just cycling projects.
Inspire aims to continue to provide cycling sessions in the future, and to help participants progress to a level where they can help with delivery of sessions as volunteers. It hopes to expand the reach of its work and the range of activities offered through its involvement in community projects in Burgess Park. This aims to bring opportunities to a greater number of people, and show the joy that cycling can offer, and its accessibility no matter what background young people may be from.
What participants thought
‘Can you just cut that off cos its in the way.’ (Ahmed, 13 - a reference to his brakes, so the answer was no, but we'll show you how to fix it)
‘The best day of my life.’ (Jordan, 14, mountain biking ride out)
‘This has completely changed my outlook on cycling on London, I’ll take my kids out on my own now’ (Tuna, parent who joined his daughter on our London road ride out)
'Oh we’re here! That was really quick.’ (Harry, 9 – expressing a general sense of wonder at how far you can get across London by bike)
*Grant Amount listed refers to a top up grant*