Through funding from TfL’s Walking Cycling Grants London, Badu Community CIC in East London have been working on the Biking with Badu project. The project is aimed at engaging young people and their families from deprived and hard to reach communities through cycling activities and training.
Biking with Badu recognises that community participation is greater when delivered by individuals that share a community, and so they have created a 3-year program that reflects this. In the first year the focus will be on children and young people, with sports coaches being trained to deliver courses to young people and bikes bought to assist in delivering weekly sessions. In the second year the focus will be on parents and families, with sessions being delivered alongside existing clubs that young people attend to ensure childcare is not a barrier to participation. Within this year, six parents will be trained to become ride leaders, which will help to support the focus of the final year: community cohesion. In the third and final year, cycling groups will be created and led by young people and parents from the community.
Project Participant, aged six: “I came on my scooter and share bike with brother who is five and I’m six, I’m learning how to get better at cycling… I love it!”
Biking with Badu is making an effort to reach out to children who otherwise would not have access to bikes or cycle training, and is teaching them to be confident on-road cyclists. To minimise exclusion they provide free lessons and meals to those who require them.
They advise anyone who would want to start a similar project that enthusiasm throughout your cycling project goes a long was. There may be days when the weather is less than unfavourable and you notice the morale of your fellow riders dipping, and this is when passion is most important!
Project Participant, aged six: “I like it, I learnt how to ride when I was 3-4 and I’m 6 now”.