New Sunderland bike project helps to promote healthy lifestyles and keep children safe on the roads

Families have been able to get on their bikes and stay safe thanks to a new cycle hub and training centre set up by local health and wellbeing charity, Rise.

Through its Bikeability Project, the charity is providing bikes and free training sessions specifically for families and children who do not currently have the opportunity or means to access cycle training.

After successfully securing £65,000 of funding from the Bikeability Trust, Rise has created the hub at an off-road setting at Thompson Park in Southwick.

A team of qualified instructors provide bikes, safety equipment and training to help novice riders practice their road safety and cycling proficiency skills.

As well as ensuring people are safer on the roads, a key aim of the project is to help encourage families to be more active and to promote healthy lifestyles.

Read More

Read More
Sunderland children diagnosed with autism benefit from special yoga sessions to ...

The charity’s Infrastructure and Environment Strategic lead, Suzanne McDermott, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to secure this significant funding from the Bikeability Trust to increase the availability of cycle training in Sunderland. Our mission at Rise is to empower people to look after their health and wellbeing by providing opportunities and resources that help more people to be physically active.

“An added benefit of the Bikeability Project is widening participation in cycling. We are not only helping people to get more active, but we are also promoting the role that cycling can play in helping the environment as a safe mode of transport for children to get to school and adults to make their journey to work.”

Sunderland children taking part in the Bikeability Project.

Craig, a father of one of the participants, said: “My son attended a learn to ride session and the trainers were great. They were patient, built his confidence in a fun way and by the end of the session my son was riding his bike and hasn’t stopped since. We had been trying unsuccessfully for a few months.

"I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to teach their little ones to ride a bike.”

The Rise Bikeability Project is one of forty-four schemes across the country to receive a share of more than £1.6million from the Department of Transport to fund projects that help children and young people who would not usually learn how to cycle become confident cyclists.

Emily Cherry, Chief Executive Officer at the Bikeability Trust, said: “Through the Widening Participation Fund, The Bikeability Trust is investing in projects that remove the barriers to cycling and help children who wouldn’t usually learn how to cycle get pedalling.

“We’re proud to support Rise. They have some fantastic plans in place to support families in Sunderland to learn to cycle together. This will teach families an essential life skill and help embed health and sustainable travel choices in their daily routines. We can’t wait to see the project in action.”

Rise is one of 42 active partnerships in the UK who work with local governments, the business community and the health and education sectors to help communities across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to improve access to health and wellbeing activities.