Lindsey’s story – and a crowdfunding appeal

Lindsey is a regular cycle leader at our “Ride in the Park” events. She pilots one of the two rickshaws that we take for older people and people with different needs to ride around the circuit.

Lindsey piloting the rickshaw at Cruyff Court on Midsummer’s Day.

The participants are what this project is all about. Before Leicester Wheels for All’s plans took shape this summer I knew that this is what I wanted to do, give an older person who can’t get about too well the chance to relive their former cycling days.

Lindsey Ball

Dennis is 96. He came first to Leicester Wheels for All’s Midsummer Ride in the Park which was held at Cruyff Court, St Matthews. Ever since that day, Dennis’s daughter tells us, he has talked constantly about how much he enjoyed it and wanting to do it again. Here is a shot of him riding with our session leader, Jamshed, running along-side giving directions to the rider who has low-vision. One of the unexpected benefits of running the event at Cryuff Court was that the blue running track acts as a perfect “direction guide” for many people with low-vision.

“Can you believe that we’ve given a 96-year-old man like Dennis something that he probably never dreamed would happen. And what a great experience it must’ve been yesterday for his daughter to ride next to him. Absolutely unbelievable when you think about it. I’m really chuffed!”

I also particularly enjoyed taking an elderly blind lady around the Oval on my rickshaw and describing everything that we were passing, it was lovely to be able to do this and it made me appreciate just how great it was to be able ride a bike in the Park. 

Lindsey Ball
This is the “brand” shot from LWFA’s first Ride in the Park back in May.

As I was piloting the rickshaw on Friday everyone remarked about Rides in the Park being such a fantastic idea and the carers were loving the event just as much as their clients. The sense of wellbeing was amazing, with everyone laughing and smiling as they all took turns to ride the bikes that suited them most. There was a real community spirit with different groups mixing and interacting with each other.

Lindsey Ball
96 years old Dennis back in the saddle after 30 years at Ride-in-the-Park.

Would you like to help make it possible for us to provide more Ride in the Park sessions and provide more cycles for people with different needs? Well, now you can! Head over to our crowd-funding link:

https://www.spacehive.com/rides-in-the-park

If you’d like to know more about what we do – check out our video (above) or contact us on leicesterwfa@gmail.com

Time to scale up

Leicester Wheels for All is looking to the future.

At the next AGM the LWFA Trustees will have been in office for four years. We have developed the organisation up to the point at which we put on 100 events each year for our participants. We are good at partnership working and service management. We have a core of great session leaders and volunteers. Why then do we need to review our governance structure?

We need to scale up our organisation so that we begin to meet the unmet need for exercise for people with different needs. Our target audience is anyone with the need to ride adapted cycles for health and wellbeing. Business gurus say that scaling up a service is more than just doing more of the same.

We invite our stakeholder organisations to be involved in the process. Tell us what we should do to prepare our organisation for the changes needed? Here is our open letter to all of our client organisations, funders, carers of our participants and of course participants themselves.

Dear Stakeholder
This letter is all about our organisation and we would appreciate your involvement and guidance.  We want to prepare for increasing the services to our participants and client organisations.

We are on course for delivering around 100 events a year.  We are good at partnership working and service management.  We have a great team of people delivering our services. We have a good fleet of adapted cycles.  But this is not the time to rest on our laurels.   Most of our target participants and customer organisations have unmet needs and we want to continue developing so that we can begin to address more of them.

When we started we needed a core team with a service delivery focus.  We now need to expand and develop our public benefit services by strengthening all areas beyond our core competencies
So our question is – how should we do this?  Adding to and refreshing our trustees is a good place to start.  We need trustees who bring other skills to the organisation beyond what we have achieved by providing high-quality safe events for our participants.  If you have any ideas, or you would like to become a trustee in one of the areas listed below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • strategy
  • customer services
  • encouraging take up of healthy exercise
  • communications
  • NHS and Social Care liaison
  • fleet management
  • other

The next committee meeting due in August will consider how best to prepare LWFA for the next stage in its development.

Please reply to leicesterwfa@gmail.com