Looking back on the start of our 10th Anniversary Celebrations
Last September, Wheels for Wellbeing (WfW) kicked off its 10 year anniversary celebrations with a week of parties. We wanted to mark 10 years of helping disabled people and anyone with health conditions to stay active. That week we turned our five inclusive cycling sessions (at the Herne Hill Velodrome, Croydon Arena, and Ladywell Day Centre) into joint celebrations, with friends, supporters, dignitaries and participants. The week-long celebrations and canvas painting project were kicked off on Monday 18th September by Southwark Mayor Cllr Charlie Smith at the Herne Hill Velodrome.
“We have built an amazing community and we decided to stop and celebrate,” said Isabelle Clement, WfW, Director. “We are so proud of what we have achieved over the last 10 years – not only enabling c.6,000 disabled people to access all the benefits of cycling in South London, but also becoming the recognised voice of disabled cyclists nationally. The celebrations were also a way to thank our many volunteers. We gave a special mention to Jim Bush, who has been volunteering for the whole 10 years, greeting participants on the front desk at Croydon Arena roughly 6 times per month!”
Wheels for Wellbeing, was originally founded in 2007 by Janet Paske, a passionate cyclist and employee of Disability Advice Service Lambeth (DASL). As the Manager of DASL’s Welfare Advice service at the time, Janet found that there was a great need in the community for inclusive cycling. She left for Sheffield in 2010 (having secured a three year Big Lottery grant for Wheels for Wellbeing). She returned for our closing party on September 23rd. Speaking about the progress that Wheels for Wellbeing has made in the 10 years, Janet said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic! Back in 2010, when talking to TfL I always felt like a tiny voice, not taken seriously. Now Wheels for Wellbeing is established and we are making people at the national level understand the seriousness of what we are about.”
We have captured some of the key moments in this slide show which we hope you’ll enjoy.