Major investment for Colchester to run family cycling sessions for disabled people

PUBLISHED: 12 June 2023

Wheels for All Colchester has expanded its offering to include weekend family cycle sessions, catering to disabled people and their families, after receiving a significant £58,000 investment.
Colchester City Council’s new Portfolio Holder for Communities, Cllr Natalie Sommers, visited Wheels for All on Saturday, 10 June to celebrate the investment.

The NHS funding – which was received in July 2022 – has enabled Wheels for All to offer families in Colchester a unique opportunity to take part in fun and engaging cycling activities with their loved ones, regardless of their abilities. It has already paid for additional cycle track sessions at the Colchester Sports Park to meet demand; purchased more adaptive bicycles for differing abilities; financed staffing and support; and helped identify individuals who would benefit from Wheels for All who may be unaware of the scheme.

Wheels for All is a nationally recognised charity that encourages fun cycling activities for anyone regardless of their needs, using a range of adapted bikes. This allows disabled people to take party in enjoyable and stimulating cycling sessions, providing a boost to their overall wellbeing.

The sessions will run from 1pm to 3pm and cost £5 per child, with parents and carers cycling for free. A wide range of non-standard cycles (as well as two-wheelers) are available to ride, with helmets provided and support from our trained staff and volunteers. Sessions can be booked in advance by clicking here.

Ian Tierney, Wheels for All Charity Director, said: “Wheels for All has been hosting sessions in Colchester since 2021 and the reception has been fantastic. We’ve steadily grown, and new participants turn up each week.

“Until now, we’ve only been able to support Wednesday sessions. I’m really excited to see this funding support weekend sessions so even more people – of any ability – can enjoy the benefits of cycling. During the school holiday families will often join in on sessions so running sessions on weekends will mean even more families can come together.

“Though the £58,000 contribution is a significant help, we invite additional donations. Our aim is to broaden our initiative to guarantee every disabled individual in our communities is afforded the opportunity to experience and profit from cycling. If cycling isn't your cup of tea, we encourage you to contribute to any other charitable organisation or help raise funds. Collaborative efforts across multiple organisations will be crucial in making a positive impact in the lives of many disabled people.”

As a result of the investment, the charity anticipates a significant increase in participation, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle whilst delivering a rewarding experience for all involved.

Cllr Natalie Sommers, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “Projects in Colchester such as Wheels for All, Park Play, Street Tag, Care Home Games, and others, are supporting individuals who may face difficulties becoming physically active to enjoy benefits from such activities. Colchester City is striving to increase the community's physical engagement, reducing health issues and discomfort, enhancing sleep, reducing stress and tension, and improving heart and brain health. Wheels for All deserves special commendation for this contribution, which complements our city's cycling heritage.”

Pictured above
Cllr Natalie Sommers (third from the right) and Jo Smith, Colchester Wheels for All Coordinator (second from the right), flanked by Wheels for All regulars.

Page last reviewed: 12 June 2023


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