The all-ability cycling project in Sheffield, originally part of the Cycle Champions Programme, was set up and delivered by Steve Marsden in 2010. The project offered people with disabilities the opportunity to ride a wide array of adapted bikes in the safe surroundings of the city’s Hillsborough Park. Sadly, funding constraints halted its progress in 2013. This left a Sheffield with an unused fleet of adapted bikes, and a lot of disappointed cyclists.
Fortunately, CTC were lucky enough to secure funding through the Big Lottery to support inclusive cycling centres across England. Gavin Wood, CTC’s local development officer in the north-east explained:
“Part of my role was to get projects such as Sheffield back up and running, and to try set them up to be sustainable without relying on external funding. In Sheffield, I worked with local organisations such as Disability Sheffield, Burton Street Foundation, and Hillsborough Arena, and individuals with an interest in inclusive cycling – such as Caroline Waugh – to set up a project steering committee. We agreed to set up a separate constituted group, which gave the group a legal identity, a bank account, and the ability to apply for funding in its own right and so Sheffield Cycling 4 All was born!”
Since the project’s relaunch in summer 2014, some 350 disabled people have attended sessions in the park and the bikes were also used as part of the city’s Sky Ride. Clearly the voting panel at Cycle Sheffield were impressed, who awarded the group Sheffield’s Grassroots Cycling Initiative of the year. This is a massive credit to the many people who’ve been involved over the last 12 months.
The group’s importance to the community has also been recognised by Sheffield City Council who offered a small grant to help with the annual servicing of the equipment, ensuring the kit is in top condition.