To celebrate Cycle to School Week, Halfords is giving away over £68,000 worth of pre-pedalled bicycles and cycling equipment to children across England.
To mark this year’s Cycle to School Week (3 – 7 October), Halfords and their newly appointed ambassador, Charlotte Worthington, has teamed up with Bikeability to give away 475 pre-pedalled bicycles across the country to equip children who don’t have access to a bicycle with the skills and confidence to cycle safely.
To celebrate the new initiative, Charlotte took part in a Bikeability session at Avenue Primary School, Leicester. Pupils were put through their cycling paces with the BMX star and two Bikeability instructors, who taught them how to check if their bicycle is safe to ride, how to signal to other road users, and how to handle junctions.
Getting children pedalling comes with a number of invaluable benefits, including improved physical fitness, mental health functionality, and social skills, However, 24 percent of 5-16 year olds have no access to a bike growing up. To help combat this, Halfords is working with their newly appointed BMX ambassador, Charlotte Worthington, and the government’s national cycle training programme, Bikeability, to give away over £68,000 worth of bicycles and cycling equipment across the UK.
Lending her name to the initiative and hoping to inspire a new generation of young cyclists, Charlotte Worthington is particularly passionate about increasing accessibility to the sport as, despite having an Olympic gold medal and British and European Championship titles to her name, she didn’t actually get into the sport until she was 19 years old.
The bikes being given away by Halfords come from their pre-pedalled initiative, ‘Bike Xchange’ which involves giving pre-owned bikes a new lease of life. Whilst each bicycle has already experienced an adventure with its previous owner, Halfords’ experts fully safety check and where necessary complete repairs, allowing children who may not have had access to a bike before to begin their own cycling journey. Each bike comes with a 12-month warranty, providing full peace of mind that the bike can be ridden away safely.
Emily Cherry, CEO of the Bikeability Trust, said: “Bikeability as a charity, is determined to take action on the barriers to lifetime of cycling. It is our mission to offer cycle training to every child and through Department for Transport funding this year we will reach a new record number of children trained.
However, far too often children are unable to cycle beyond our training because they do not have a cycle of their own. They miss out on the health, environmental and financial benefits of travelling by cycle. We are delighted that Halfords have stepped up to unlock that freedom and independence for 500 families in England. This partnership will transform the cycling aspirations of so many families.”
British Gold medalist and 3x British & European Champion, Charlotte Worthington said: “I’m thrilled to be one of the first BMX ambassadors Halfords has ever appointed. BMXing has transformed my life and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help inspire more young people to get into cycling. The new partnership between Halfords and Bikeability is amazing, and I’m so glad I get to help show just how much joy cycling brings!”
Transport minister Baroness Vere said: “This is a fantastic initiative to get children cycling who may not have otherwise had the means or the opportunity to do so.
“There are so many benefits to cycling, from improving air quality to saving money, and I look forward to working with The Bikeability Trust to make sure even more people have the skills and confidence they need to get behind the handlebars.”