Bikeability Trust Annual Review 2020

Malcolm is a Qualified Bikeability instructor for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Over the past 18-months I’ve been working with a SEND pupil, Josh, who has a learning disability including autism which does create additional challenges. When I first met Josh and his parents, I recall Josh telling me, “I can’t cycle.” After a little thought I rephrased that sentence to him, “You can’t cycle yet.” Within 20 minutes, Josh was sitting on a balance bike in the garden, and his ‘journey’ had commenced. I worked with him every Sunday for quite some time; each session with Josh was tailored to suit his learning needs, which were identified by speaking with his school, parents, and most importantly Josh himself. I learned about his interest in Disney films and so used his favourite characters as training tools to deliver information to Josh in a way that he could understand and process. After many Sunday mornings in the park, Josh’s confidence and skills developed to the point where he was ready to participate in Bikeability level 1 with his school peers – another journey had begun. During the sessions that followed, we all saw Josh go through a remarkable transformation, with noticeable improvements to his attitude, vocabulary, fitness…and his education. I presented Josh with his Bikeability certificate, which now takes pride of place on his wall; there is no doubt that learning to ride a bike and participating in Bikeability with his peers represents a huge achievement for him, his parents, and his grandparents. Josh’s father, Richard, said: Imran Hussain has more than 20 years’ experience as a youth worker working with disadvantaged and hard- to-reach young people. As a BAME cycling advocate, he has had to work creatively to find solutions to the barriers of delivering Bikeability to inner city schools in Bradford. Often young people don’t have access to fit for purpose bikes which really impacts on training time as instructors try to get the bikes in a usable state. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that instructors have to say it is unsafe for children to come out and train. This extends real disadvantage to children who are already disadvantaged. To help with this disadvantage we got hold a fleet of bikes through legacy funding after the Tour de France came to Yorkshire. Instructors take them into schools, but it is still a challenge when you are delivering in multiple schools across different sites and the fleet gets stretched. Getting parents on board and creating a three-way partnership between families, the school and Bikeability instructor is so key. Parent engagement officers can help to show why Bikeability training is a life skill that can increase young people’s confidence and independence. It is also important to build the profile of Bikeability in the community. Building that trust with the parent is really important – emphasising the importance of physical health through cycling. Taster sessions after school or before school can be a great way of engaging families. Imran Hussain, Trustee Case Study  As a family I would like to thank both and Malcolm and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for this fantastic initiative. The energy and enthusiasm provided by Malcolm has truly been infectious, not only for Josh but to us all as a family. The difference this has made to Josh has been so inspiring and has given him such a confidence boost. Despite Josh’s disability nothing should be beyond his reach and with the right support and attitude anything is possible. It really is a joy to watch him cycle with a big smile on his face and it brings a tear of happiness to our eyes. 13