Vale Homes recently celebrated the success of its Barry Bike Club at Ty Iolo Play Area. The project which was first introduced though the Communities First programme aims to reduce health inequities through targeted support to promote physical activity.
Vale Homes (Community Investment team) in partnership with Newydd and the Vale of Glamorgan Sports and Play Development decided to carry this on with a unique partnership approach. By partnering up with Pedal Power (a local charity Bike organisation based in Cardiff) to promote and run cycling sessions this has enabled sustainability of delivery through the development of community engagement, Timebanking and recruiting community volunteers.
Bike Club has run successfully since its revamp in April 2018 with over 89 children attending sessions at Ty Iolo Play Area. The aims of the project are to provide information, advice and signposting for learning to cycle, to identify barriers to physical activity and overcome them, to coordinate, promote and refer people into taking part in physical activity. The group over the past 5 months has achieved the following: Introduction to parents and children into cycling, Fitting up of helmets and ensuring that the participant is using the correct bike, Learning to cycle safely in an off road environment (Ty Iolo play area). Encouraging young people to learn to balance through scooting, Teaching participants the ABC checks of cycling, Teaching safe starting and stopping, Teaching effective and safe signalling, Practicing turns using cones, Having fun in a safe and friendly environment.
The celebration event was attended by Vale of Glamorgan Mayor Cllr Leighton Rowlands, Miles Punter Director for Environment and Housing Services and Mike Ingram Head of Housing and Building Services.
A Gibbonsdown parent commented “my boy and girl can now ride a bike unaided and they both have more confidence. They are doing amazingly well and the Pedal Power instructors are fantastic”.
Through the Vale Homes Community Investment programme the Bike Club has continued to flourish.
Vale Mayor Cllr Leighton Rowlands said “It was fantastic to see so many children take part and the club is going strength to strength, I even decided to have a go on a bike myself to join in with them”
Community Investment Officer for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Mark Ellis said “ It was really wonderful to see all the smiling faces attending the last day of Bike Club 2018, we have had over 80 children sign up this year and it has been a real joy to be part of. I am really excited for Pedal Power to be involved in setting up a new Bike Club in St Athan in the Spring of 2019 so more children can learn to cycle is a safe and friendly environment with excellent instructors and volunteers teaching them”.
Sian Donovan from Pedelpower said “We are really happy working with the local community focusing on health and wellbeing through cycling. Pedal Power is aiming to bring accessible cycling to local communities so that every child can be part of building the next generation of safe cyclists.”