Wheels for Wellbeing has partnered with Mobility Taxis to provide a taxi service for those who would like to cycle at our session at Herne Hill Velodrome but can’t get to the venue. Get in touch if you or somebody you know would like to use the service.
“If I hadn’t had door-to-door transport I wouldn’t be able to cycle with Wheels for Wellbeing. It would be terrible, because cycling has been vital in my recovery from stroke.” – former participants who used Dial-a-Ride to get to the sessions.
“I feel free, confident and independent. I am enjoying being with friends and using muscles I may not have used before.” Wheels for Wellbeing participant
How will it work? We will take your details and Mobility Taxis will get in touch to arrange the pick-up and drop-off.
The service is currently free to all users thanks to the kind support of two trusts: The Wakefield and Tetley Trust and The Peter Minet Trust
Please note: this service covers the area within 3 miles radius from Herne Hill Velodrome and can only be used to get to our regular Monday session.
For more information get in touch with the Wheels for Wellbeing Office:
0207 346 8482
WHERE: Herne Hill Velodrome, 104 Burbage Road, Dulwich, SE24 9HE WHEN: Mondays, 11am until 1.30pm (10.30am-12.30pm on bank holidays and during school holidays). More info about our sessions
Take part in our 5 minute inclusive cycling survey and help us to make the voice of disabled cyclists heard.
Are you a disabled cyclist, or have a health condition that affects your ability to cycle? Do you feel your voice as a disabled cyclist isn’t heard? Then take part in inclusive cycling survey we launched last week.
The survey – possibly the first of its kind – will help us gather the views and experiences of disabled cyclists.
Many people don’t realise that disabled people can (and do) cycle. But there are a number of barriers that continue to prevent more disabled people from taking up cycling. Some of them are: lack of fully inclusive cycling infrastructure, inadequate parking facilities and the fact that cycles are not recognised as mobility aids. Issues that Wheels for Wellbeing campaigns passionately on.
This survey seeks the views of disabled cyclists and will help us better understand the issues you face. It will also shape the focus of our campaigns. The more data we collect, the more your voice will be heard – so please take part and share with any other disabled cyclists you know!
Wheels for Wellbeing surveyed almost 300 people based in London about travel mobility. We asked them how often they travel, how much does it cost and what kind of mobility services do they use and more. The answers that we’ve got give a picture of how disabled and older people travel in London. It may be to get to the cycling sessions or to go out and about.
We created a travel mobility questionnaire because it had come to our attention that people were finding it difficult to get to the Wheels for Wellbeing cycling session at the Herne Hill Velodrome. It’s due to limited access by public transport. We wanted to gather more information on the challenges individuals face when travelling in and around London. This questionnaire was made available online and in paper copies. It was also distributed to groups/clubs attended by people likely to have limited mobility. Between December 2014 and January 2016 we received 272 completed questionnaires.
When discussing the barriers faced whilst travelling, one grievance that crops up again and again is about a lack of awareness about invisible disabilities. It relates both to the transport companies and to the general public. There is perhaps a call for greater understanding and compliance where these are concerned.
Read more about travel mobility in London by downloading Travel Mobility Survey report.
Could You be saving £’s on Energy Bills by Switching Suppliers?
Wheels for Wellbeing have joined forces with utilities comparison site Utility Aid to help you save money ahead of winter! With a recent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report finding that most customers of the Six Large Energy Firms would make a considerable saving from switching and Ofgem taking action to help the 2/3 of households who are “paying over the odds on their energy bills”, now is the time to switch!
“Ofgem has published a separate consultation today on the CMA’s proposals to remove parts of its Retail Market Reforms so consumers can enjoy a wider choice of innovative good value deals. Ofgem has also consulted on its approach to the CMA’s recommendation to remove the requirement on price comparison websites to display all the tariffs on the market.
Combined with other changes already happening, such as smart meters and faster switching, these remedies provide an opportunity to transform the energy market. Ofgem will be continuing our Be An Energy Shopper marketing campaign this autumn encouraging consumers to save around £300 a year by shopping around.
Ofgem’s annual review of the retail energy market, also published today, confirmed that the majority of consumers who do not engage in the market are losing out. It also found that the proportion of people on expensive standard variable tariffs has dropped from 69% last year to 66% in March this year as switching rates increase.” (OfGem website)
So, for every switch made through our comparison website Wheels for Wellbeing get a small donation! So not only will you be saving money, you’ll be supporting us to bring cycling to more disabled and older people.
GAM Charity Football raises £14k for Inclusive Cycling
On 21st May we were the proud partner for GAM’s Charity Football Tournament! We headed to Stamford Bridge and entered a team into the tournament. We would like to thank our team members who did a fantastic job of representing Wheels for Wellbeing!
Thanks to: Dave Hoskin, Mick Mayer, Mark Said, Senan Salmon, George Williamson, Kabuya Wamukendi, Ben Lau, Jack Smith, George Langham and Max Underwood. We would also like to thank GAM and each and every team in the tournament, who fundraised for Wheels for Wellbeing.
The tournament raised a phenomenal £14,000 for Wheels for Wellbeing, which is just amazing. This will enable us to support more disabled & older people to access the fun, fresh air and health benefits of cycling and we are extremely grateful to each and every person who donated.
Our Director Isabelle Clement gave a short speech on the difference this funding will make to the people we work with and team members and guests also had a chance to try out some of our cycles. We were delighted to meet former Chelsea player Graeme La Saux, who had a go on a handcycle! Thank you GAM for such a fantastic day!
Watch the live draw below:
“Beyond the Cycle” – A Manifesto Towards an Inclusive Cycling Policy
Brixton disability cycling charity Wheels for Wellbeing (WfW) launched their manifesto ‘Beyond the Bicycle’ at the Herne Hill Velodrome on Monday 11th July.
Speaking at the launch, WfW Director Isabelle Clement (right) set out the organisation’s goals including recognition of cycles as a mobility aid, improved infrastructure and better facilities including a ‘blue badge’ parking scheme for disabled cyclists.
Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes was in attendance along with members of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG), including Ruth Cadbury MP, Alex Chalk MP and Baroness Barker.
Speaking to the Brixton Blog’s Colette Webber, local MP Hayes was clear about the benefits the charity brings to local disabled people through increased participation and physical exercise, but also on the wider impacts:
“We want a city where everyone is making an effort to cycle from A to B, not just for exercise and fun but clearly addressing the issue of air quality and climate change in a direct, active way.”
Co-chair of the APPCG and Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury was also in attendance.
“This is a really good opportunity to get us looking more closely at the disabled cycling agenda,” said Cadbury. “Ideas such as extending the cycle-to-work scheme to the users of disability cycles costing in excess of the £1,000 threshold are certainly worth considering.”
Fifteen percent of disabled Londoners cycle for either transport or leisure and 1 in 20 cycling commuters in London is disabled.
WfW is an award-winning charity supporting disabled people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the benefits of cycling. It operates sessions five times a week from the Herne Hill Velodrome, Croydon Arena and Ladywell day centre with 200 cycles supporting around 1,300 clients a year.
On Easter Sunday, Lambeth residents Emily Groves and Alice Chamberlain took part in a fundraising challenge in aid of local disability cycling charity, Wheels for Wellbeing. They cycled around Hyde Park for 5 miles, with a group of friends, braving the rain, dressed as Easter Bunnies.
The ‘Millionhares’ had been friends since they were at school and are never shy of a challenge! So when Alice started working at Wheels for Wellbeing, she thought that the Easter Bunny Ride could be the perfect way to get the group together having fun, while raising money for a really important cause. Since the group agreed to the challenge, in January, they had been busy training and raising funds to support more disabled people to discover cycling and its benefits. The 5 fundraisers assembled at marble Arch, and quickly changed into their cheerful outfits.
What made the challenge even more poignant to Emily were the achievements of her Uncle, Mark, who was born with a condition not unlike spina bifida. “He’s one of the most inspirational people I know. He has an incredible hand cycle that’s taken him to some amazing places he wouldn’t have been able to reach before. He even partook in the 1992 Winter Paralympics on the skiing team. He lives outside Seville now and gets everywhere on his bike without any limitations. Its charities like Wheels for Wellbeing that are going to inspire the next Mark, and that’s why this is so important,” she said. “The bunny suits were, let’s just say it’s a little bit see-through, a little bit tight and a little bit stuffy! – Especially when it rained. I did have to pin the bunny head into place, in fear that I’d be blinded and verge into a pond (which could have easily happened anytime the bunny face flopped across my face).”
“Keen to make the most of the sunshine (and having just missed a torrential downpour!) we didn’t waste any more time before going to collect our bikes. Once we had adjusted the seats and located the gears (all whilst trying to keep our bunny heads out of the way!) we were ready to go! None of us are seasoned cyclists, so it really was a challenge for us in many ways. I’ve only been on a bike twice since I was about 10 years old and my poor thighs were burning after a few minutes as I was working muscles I’d forgotten existed. Also, I’ve never been great with anything that requires balance, so really this was quite a monumental challenge for me! The other challenging part was mapping out a cycling route, as we encountered so many ‘No Cycling’ signs. The ride was lots of fun, and we got lots of encouragement from passers-by! When one person asked if we liked carrots we were very confused, until we remembered what we were wearing! It wasn’t long before the rain started again, but luckily we had come prepared, and had some ponchos to change into. Yup, human-sized bunnies in ponchos… classy!” said Emily.
“When the sun came out again we stopped for another photo by the Serpentine – it was beautiful! We enjoyed it so much that we all agreed to carry on the ride when it had officially come to an end! So we extended our route by a few minutes before finally docking our bikes,” said Alice.
“Taking part has definitely motivated me to get moving – I’d love to start cycling to work one day and maybe this will give me the boost I need!” said Emily.
The MillionHares then headed off for a well-deserved rest in the pub, for some carrot juice and wasted no time discussing their next challenge.
The MillionHares have raised over £700 for Brixton based charity, Wheels for Wellbeing, beating their target of £500.
During the Easter break some members of public were treated to the unusual site of ladies dressed as bunnies riding on cycles. But not the type of bunnies you might have in mind. These ladies were ‘Breeze riders’ – a female cycling group (of all ages), who decided to raise money and awareness for South London disability cycling charity Wheels for Wellbeing (WfW).
The Bunny Ride was the idea of WfW’s Community Engagement Officer Abigail Trip. “The idea was to do something different over the holidays that would be fun, get people working together, talking and raising funds for us to continue to provide inclusive cycling sessions for those who often don’t know that they can cycle,” said Abigail.
The leader of the March Hares Bunny Ride, WfW cycling Instructor and Croydon resident, Deb Garbutt described the event.
“On Wednesday, we met at Waddon Ponds for the scenic route to Abbey Mills along the River Wandle. I’d already met up with fellow Breeze Champion, Ann Ferris, (who very rarely – if ever dresses up!!). But today, she was sporting a pair of grey & pink rabbit ears. We set off along the now well-known route, through mostly pathways and cycleways.
There were smiles from members of the public all along the route. We found the more mature folk were much more eager to support our cause and were readily donating. On the whole, people were very happy to see us – we brought a smile to their faces. Some comments were: “You’ve made my day”, “You’re the biggest bunny I’ve ever seen!” and “I’ll put money into the pot just because of the effort you have gone to.” Everyone enjoyed the ride.
On Friday, I cycled to Cater Park and met up with Ann again. I took an empty collection pot and started collecting on route to Cater Park. In all, seven ladies turned up – three with Bunny Ears, and one with silver balls… We rode to Greenwich to the amusement of the general public.
A bus drove past, as half the top deck rushed to the windows to wave madly at us. And as we were waiting to cross a busy junction several cars in succession hooted, waved and cheered us.
Most of the General public welcomed the themed ride, some gave more readily than others – some gave (they said) just because we’d dressed up!…
I think the sunshine really helped, as people were in a good mood. They listened to what we had said about Wheels for Wellbeing, gave their donations, and wished us well.
Once I’d left the group I saw two flower sellers at Beckenham Crematorium. I spotted one nudging the other, as if to say “Look at them cycling up the hill”
What a shock they received as I cycled right over to them and asked for a contribution – which I don’t think they could even believe they were giving… ha ha ha ha…
Then The Albert pub had a bit of a crowd sitting in the afternoon sunshine – well, by this time I was a tired and most dishevelled, worn out Bunny. What did I have to lose, I said to myself? So, I approached them, and just as the words was leaving my mouth: “Please will any of you…” much to my surprise, I was counting £22 coins go into the pot!! I cycled the rest of the way home very happy at our achievements of the day.
And not surprisingly, a group of workmen in Catford jested, “Can I touch your tail Love?”
Other members of the March Hares, also commented on their experience of the Bunny Ride.
Brenda: “Sorry I forgot my ears. My dad had a bad nose bleed and in all the commotion I left them on the kitchen table”
Isabelle, (Brenda’s daughter) said, “I loved the Chocolate,” (which we gave to her) “and I loved wearing the spare ears.”
“Do you know I haven’t ridden a bike since last July 4th. I have really loved today’s ride, it’s been such fun and great to take part in such a good cause today. I do Love Breeze Ride’s but riding with Debs dressed as a Bunny and others with ears has made it extra special. Especially as it cheered up a lot of people and gave them a reason to smile”, said Posy.
“Do you know what I found myself singing on the way to the start? ‘I’m late, I’m late for a very important date!’ Then I realized how funny that was as I had Bunny ears on my helmet – like the Mad March Hare! Great ride though, very well done and such a good cause, glad to help,” said Frances.
There was a lot of TOOTs, SMILEs and WAVEs – I thought it was a very good idea, very positive and made so many people laugh and smile, point and wave,” said Jules.
“I was so gutted I had to miss Wednesday’s ride, as I’ve really enjoyed this one and know I would have loved it,” said Paula.
“I had a really, relaxing ride. What better way to spend a Good Friday than riding with such great people in the sunshine,” said Smitta.
And as a couple strolled with their baby along the route, I asked them if they’d like to donate. They agreed and popped their coins in, but as I cycled away I heard the young lady shout: “What I’d really like, is to squeeze your tail!” So I waited – and she did!!
Isabelle Clement speaks out, in the Guardian, for disabled cyclists and other beneficiaries of good infrastructure
Objectors to new bike routes in London and elsewhere often cite the needs of people with disabilities. They’ve missed the point
Whenever bike infrastructure is debated, it’s never very long before someone objects by saying: “But what happens to people with disabilities if you build cycle lanes?” They have forgotten one very important thing: a lot of disabled people cycle, and benefit even more than most from quick, safe cycle routes.
They, and others, simply assume disabled people cannot and do not cycle, meaning cyclists and disabled people have opposing needs and agendas. But the premise is wrong.
By Transport for London’s own reckoning, around 15% of disabled people in London actively cycled for transport in 2014, compared to 18% of non-disabled people.
By this measure, you could be forgiven for thinking that disabled cyclists must be well represented in London’s cycling policy. But here you would also be wrong.
If Boris Johnson’s 2013 Vision for Cycling is anything to go by, it is clear that much more needs to be done to improve the visibility of London’s disabled cycling community. Visual images representing cyclists often depict competition and sport rather than mobility, utility and transport, and fail to include the variety of trikes, handbikes, tandems and tag-alongs which can make cycling a possibility whatever your impairment. The mayor’s follow-up document last month, Human Streets, showed little change on this.
In fact, many find cycling easier and safer than walking. Disabled and elderly people have the most to gain from cycling becoming a safer active transport option, as they exercise the least and are most at risk of additional health complications.
Cycling provides door to door transport. It can be done solo or in tandem and if cycles are recognised as mobility aids, just like mobility scooters or wheelchairs, we can mix and match cycling with getting on the tube and other modes of transport. Perfect! I myself discovered cycling in my mid-30s and have never looked back.
More than this, anything which brings a reduction in the numbers of cars will improve the walking, driving and breathing experiences of disabled and older people, as it will all for pedestrians, cyclists and people living along the proposed routes.
The majority of Londoners are currently excluded from cycling in London, not because they are physically unable to ride a bike or trike, but because the road conditions favour the fit and the brave. Creating wide cycle tracks, and removing the need to cycle alongside buses and lorries will give new opportunities for active travel for us all.
In the run up to the London election on 5 May, Wheels for Wellbeing is campaigning to raise the voice of disabled cyclists in London: we want cycles to be recognised as mobility aids; cycling infrastructure to be fully inclusive; and for disabled Londoners to have access to local inclusive cycling hubs where they can find information, outdoor sessions and specialised cycles.
We will also be working with other disability groups to make sure the needs of disabled pedestrians and cyclists are not pitched against each other. Instead we will aim to find shared solutions which can be used by planners and policy makers.
We believe London can become the most inclusive and accessible city in the world, where disabled people can choose from a range of integrated transport options. We know that more disabled Londoners can and do want to cycle; given the right opportunities, resources and support and a willing mayor in 2016, they will.
Isabelle Clement – Director of Wheels for Wellbeing
As Director of Wheels for Wellbeing and an urban commuter handcyclist, Isabelle has extensive experience of what it takes to create the right environment so that everyone can cycle. She has initiated #BeyondTheBicycle, an alliance with parent cyclists and cargo cyclists who encounter many of the same issues as disabled & older cyclists. She aims to bring an understanding of cycling to disability groups and of disability to cycling groups.
Wheels for Wellbeing works with 1,300 disabled and older people per year in South London, supporting them to discover that they can cycle and helping them grow their cycling ambitions. They have drafted key principles of inclusive cycling infrastructure and cycling policy. They work with cycling campaigners & professionals so they realise disabled people do cycle and fight to see Inclusive Cycling becoming the norm in the UK.