Higham Hill Hub is a Community Interest Company based in Higham Hill Park whose aim is to facilitate, host and deliver a diverse range of activities and seasonal events for all generations in the community.
The aim of the Hub’s Community Outdoor Group project is to create a sustainable cycling centre for use by the whole community. Activities include cycling sessions for young people, a women-only cycling group, an accessible cycling group for those with disabilities, and a programme helping young offenders gain new skills through cycle coaching or cycle maintenance courses.
There are ample cycling destinations where the Hub is based, with the canals, a forest, the Olympic Park and a BMX track on their doorstep. The Hub also has its own secluded grass area for cycle training groups, where participants can feel safe and confident while learning.
Children and adults take part in in weekend sessions, broken down into beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Cycle rides and cycle maintenance workshops are held midweek during the winter and every day during the summer holidays. The sessions help form a sense of community and give isolated residents a chance to get out of the house and meet new people.
The group provides bikes that participants can use for sessions, and Waltham Forest Police have donated 25 adult bikes. Once repaired and refurbished, the bikes can be bought by participants at a price of £10. The Cycling Grants London funding has helped the Hub obtain secure storage for the bikes, which they hope to expand in the coming months in order to be able to keep more equipment for participants to use.
The organisation is in the process of expanding its services to cater for children with special needs. They have been in discussion with Waltham Forest’s Disability Enablement Service and a local Special Needs School about providing cycling sessions for pupils.
The group aims to create a sustainable project that can continue once the Cycling Grant has ended. They expect that many of those involved in year one of the project will continue to have links with the project in years two and three. Local residents and teachers at local schools have been working as volunteers, with the aim of running activities and sessions in the future.