West Euston Partnership is an alliance of community, private, statutory and voluntary sector organisations. It was established in 1992 by local people in Camden, to help make their area a better place to live and work. For the last five years, West Euston Partnership’s project, Ability Bikes, has been offering cycling for disabled people, their families, and special schools on adapted bikes in Regent’s Park.
Many of the participants have not had the opportunity to cycle before – they have not previously had access to adapted bikes or a safe place to ride. This project offers three weekly sessions for disabled people to safely learn how to ride an ability bike in the natural setting of Regent’s Park.
For people like 19 year old Felix, who is affected by epilepsy and constantly needs someone next to him, Ability Bikes provides an excellent way to access sport, without compromising on safety. Felix uses the double seat bike, where he can pedal, whilst his mother, Bridget, steers and controls the brakes from the seat next to him. The bike has a wide seat, with armrests, and allows participants to be safely strapped in. “Sometimes people may think that an outing like this is too tricky, but thanks to the excellent volunteer support from Ability Bikes, it is much easier – they should come and give it a go!” – Bridget, Felix’s Mother.
With the CGL grant, the project has been able to increase their number of specially adapted bikes, enabling more local people to access cycling. They now have 4 side-by-sides, 4 tricycles and 1 wheelchair-friendly bike, and are looking to add to this over the next two years. Along with the instructor, the grant also funds bike maintenance and maintenance training, helping to project to remain safe and sustainable.
Going forward, WEP are also seeking additional funding from CSR/Commercial Partnership agreements and will continue to strengthen their existing partnerships with local Special Schools, Day Care Centres and The Royal Parks.
To find out more about West Euston Partnership, please visit their website, or follow them on Twitter.