Veronica Chavannes and her son Tre have been coming to Wheels for Wellbeing sessions for the last ten years. Having learned about us through picking up a flyer at Tre’s school, they started attending sessions at Croydon Sports Arena, and more recently, at the Herne Hill Velodrome
Tre has always been very enthusiastic about the sessions, and took to cycling like a duck to water. He likes the social interaction and the fitness element of it. Veronica enjoys being able to meet other parents and carers, and the opportunity for them to share amongst themselves what their children have been up to. She especially values being able to discuss the challenges that each child or young person faces from the perspective of a parent or carer.
Veronica describes the cliff edge that many disabled people experience at the age of 25/26. The opportunities decrease dramatically once they finish school and college, and many find themselves without purposeful and meaningful employment and or places to meet for social interaction and friendships, such as local community projects and advocacy groups which have closed as a result of funding cuts. Parents/ carers can often find this challenging as their young person’s days are often filled with very little stimulation. This can lead to behavioural issues, and a change in mental health and wellbeing for the young person.
Parents, including Veronica, encourage people to keep coming back to sessions. She highlights the mental wellbeing aspect; if you don’t go out much, social isolation weighs on the mind and has a damaging effect on people’s mental health, something that is counteracted by attending Wheels for Wellbeing sessions.
“I love just seeing the young people free and in control. Coming to sessions gives them the ability to communicate, social interaction, health and fitness and networking. I like the caring, the sharing and the joy!”