Turning 10: Staff Reflections

“Cycling is perfect…with the right equipment and support, it is something that can be practised by everyone.”

In the lead up to our Beyond the Bicycle Conference, we are looking at some key issues and perspectives around inclusive cycling. This week we hear directly from Wheels for Wellbeing staff about the organisation’s impact thus far.

Our Beyond the Bicycle Conference is taking place on Tuesday 7th November at City Hall, in Central London. Learn more and book on here

Does the word ‘cycling’ bring to mind the image of a bicycle? Cycling on two-wheels is the perceived norm; but what about the alternatives? Envision a world beyond the typical bike, or the whimsical unicycle. Think instead: cycles for anyone and everyone!

This idea of inclusive and accessible cycling was the driving force behind the organisation’s creation back in 2007. Since that auspicious start, Wheels for Wellbeing has worked with thousands of disabled children and adults who face barriers to taking part in any physical activity. Informed by life-changing personal experience of disabled trustees, staff and volunteers, we’re determined to show that anyone can enjoy cycling, given the right equipment, support and environment. Cycling can sound like a niche activity but really it improves people’s physical health, mental health and their social lives.

In the past ten years, the Wheels for Wellbeing team has gotten bigger and our reach within the community widened with five drop in sessions each week around South London. Moreover, the model of the organisation has also grown to include more campaigning on behalf of disabled cyclists. Our team includes disabled cyclists which adds an additional dimension and rights led approach to our work.

In line with our efforts to increase campaigning and as a part of our 10th year celebrations, we will be putting on our first major conference to bring together major players from different sectors focusing on the transformative relationship between cycling and disability. Wheels for Wellbeing was privileged to receive a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to celebrate this major accomplishment. This conference will serve as the springboard for our next ten years in transforming lives. To learn more about the conference, click here.

With the 10th anniversary approaching current staff members sat down to reflect on their experiences with the organisation over the years and their visions for the future. Watch the video below to hear more from three current staff members: Isabelle Clement (Director), Alice Chamberlain (Fundraising Development Officer) and Neil Andrews (Campaigns & Policy Officer).

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