Wheels for Wellbeing is an award-winning charity supporting Disabled people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the benefits of cycling. Their vision is for a future where Disabled people in the UK will cycle whenever and wherever they wish to – for everyday journeys, leisure or exercise – and cycle routes will be inclusive and accessible. The aim is that their work will transform attitudes to disability and ensure healthy, independent mobility for Disabled people.
Who is behind it?
Since becoming a registered charity in 2007 (no. 1120905), 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, they’re determined to show that anyone can enjoy cycling, given the right equipment, support and environment.
Why have we chosen this project?
Cycling is for everyone. Increased cycling is an important part of more environmentally sustainable and healthy lifestyles. Many Disabled people can cycle but many things make it more difficult such as entrances to cycle paths that are designed only for two-wheeled bicycles or the expectation that all cyclists can dismount and walk with their cycle. Many Disabled people ride bicycles, but if you need a tricycle, recumbent or handcycle, those are unaffordable for many – especially if you need battery-assist.
What do we most love about it?
Cycling is enabling, life-affirming, health and planet improving – it is wonderful that Wheels for Wellbeing is working to make cycling accessible for everyone. From a broader planetary perspective, a world where Disabled cyclists can thrive is a world where everyone can take part in active travel, reducing emissions from transport – which is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the UK.
How does it work?
Wheels for Wellbeing campaigns to remove barriers to cycling so that it is just as easy, accessible and affordable for Disabled people to cycle as for everyone else. The support in the name of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will fund the education work of the charity to promote inclusion for Disabled people in all types of cycling – particularly everyday cycling.
What broader benefits does it bring?
Cycling provides independence and freedom as well as the physical, mental and environmental health benefits. Disabled people report over and over again that cycling transforms their lives.
How will we know it's working?
We can be confident that the work Pageant is supporting will be effective because Wheels for Wellbeing is led by Disabled people with lived experience: people who know the sheer joy which cycling brings, when moving is otherwise tricky; people who understand the barriers Disabled people experience when trying to become more physically active, and therefore who know exactly what is needed to remove these barriers.
By the way...
The first ever cycle was a handcycle invented by a Disabled man in the seventeenth century!