More children will be given the opportunity to learn to cycle thanks to new funding from the Bikeability Trust and Department for Transport.
Forty-four projects will receive a share of more than £1.6million from the Widening Participation Fund. The Fund is being released to help achieve the Government’s ambition to offer cycle training to every child. The money will be used to fund projects that help children who wouldn’t usually learn how to cycle become confident cyclists.
Many children face barriers to cycling. The Active Lives children’s survey found that boys are more likely to be active than girls, children from affluent areas are more likely to be active than children from poorer backgrounds, and children from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be less active than children from white backgrounds.
To overcome these challenges, the Widening Participation Fund is supporting projects that remove these barriers and help children learn to ride and keep cycling into adulthood.
Research shows that cycling at a young age has a long-term beneficial impact on the health of children, right through to adulthood. Studies have shown that cycling provides positive experiences, enjoyment, self-esteem, reduced stress and improved mood.
Across England more than 1000 bikes will be purchased for children from deprived areas to learn to ride on. Alongside the bikes, projects will deliver Bikeability sessions in the community to enable children and their parents to learn to cycle together. Children from Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority backgrounds will benefit from community-based projects to help them access cycle training. Other projects will empower girls to cycle more by improving self-esteem and providing aspirational female cycling role models.
Emily Cherry, Chief Executive at the Bikeability Trust, said: “Our mission is to ensure every child can learn how to cycle. These innovative projects will address the barriers that could prevent a child from learning to ride.
“I am so proud of the creativity and originality we have seen in the successful bids. With the support and ingenuity of the organisations out there delivering Bikeability, our mission is on track. From providing cycles to giving children inspirational cycling role models, the Widening Participation Fund projects will give more children and their families discover the joys of cycling.”
The Bikeability Trust has invested more than £1.9million in helping children access cycling, through the Innovation Fund and the Widening Participation Fund. Read what a difference our funding made to Charlie, Faith and Sabrin.
Stories from our Bikeability champions
“I feel really happy and relaxed when I ride my bike, and it’s given me independence and freedom. “
“It really is a joy to watch our son Josh cycle with a big smile on his face and it brings a tear of happiness to our eyes.”
“Cycling gives you the freedom you need when the world around you is locking down – free your mind, free your body and free your soul-build confidence, strength and do your bit to save the environment!”
“Cycling has been our saviour this year, and feels like it was the only things that wasn’t cancelled.”
“These sessions provided an excellent foundation. It helped to improve our confidence cycling on the roads. Very well experienced, professional and friendly trainers.”
“Cycling is a real life skill. Something you only have to learn once and remember forever.”
“We started family bike rides at the start of lockdown2020 as a way of keeping fit, and sharing an activity that the whole family can continue to enjoy.”
“Giving them the skills to feel more confident on the road is a great step for both them, and myself.”
“Cycling for me is a way to get around; a way to exercise; but most of all it’s a way to have fun together as a family.”
“We went from “I don’t want to!” To “Mummy, can you take me on a bike ride around the estate please?” Her bike has got her away from too much screen time and gained fun, fresh air and exercise!”
“The children are so happy, they feel so accomplished and they are, rightly, so proud of themselves. And we’re so incredibly proud of them too.”
“Using a bike rather than taking the car helps reduce air pollution. We are giving children the skills to make that choice easier and safer”
“I am so unbelievably proud of them. Here’s to many more memories together as a family…on our bikes. Whoop Whoop!!”
“It has been a tremendous help to gain the knowledge to comfortably ride on roads in the correct way and with confidence. Look forward to growing our journey with you in the future.”
“I’m back cycling after a long break, I’m a bit rusty but got some wonderful hints and tips on this website”
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