Can you give us an overview of what it is like being a Bikeability training provider, and what does a typical week look like?
Being a provider is about facilitating delivery to ensure it reaches as many children and young people as possible, providing them with Bikeability training to empower them to cycle more safely and more often. Our ‘Sustainable Modes of Travel’ Strategy aims to encourage more children and their parents to travel to school via a sustainable mode of travel, particularly walking or cycling; Bikeability plays a key part in this. By giving our young people the skills, knowledge and a relentlessly positive cycling experience we aim to inspire our young people to see cycling as a form of everyday transport.
A typical week sees us liaise with numerous schools to promote Bikeability, book them in for their annual course/s and provide them with all the information and documents needed to ensure a smooth-running course. Chasing up schools for class registers prior to their course, arranging instructors, arranging for helmets (and any other equipment) to be sent to the school. Completing site specific risk assessments and not forgetting being on hand to support delivery and answer any random questions we get from schools or instructors!
What is your biggest challenge as a Bikeability training provider?
There are probably two…
- Getting schools to book Bikeability in at any time other than May and June! More and more schools ask for the summer term and it’s a challenge getting bookings in for the rest of the year.
- Finance/budgeting: Ensuring all aspects of providing the Bikeability service are covered by the grant and school income. Re-training costs are our biggest challenge financially at the moment.
What is the most rewarding part of being a provider?
Seeing your team of instructors enjoying what they do and then as a result seeing the children thrive during their Bikeability training.
Can you share a recent ‘success story’?
We’re a very positive team and have no doubt that every single course has success stories in them. The most enthusiastic feedback from instructors is about the children who start very tentatively, sometimes with very little confidence in themselves and their riding ability, who then blossom into a great rider and are thrilled with themselves. Positive reinforcement given to children throughout a course really does work wonders and the feedback we receive from children, teachers and parents is highly rewarding.
How does inclusive cycling feature within your programme?
Bikeability is offered to all schools within Telford & Wrekin and if a child wishes to take part we will do all we can to give that child the opportunity to undertake Bikeability Training. Schools provide us with SEND details prior to their course and should a disability be highlighted we work with the school and the individual to understand what specific/additional needs they have; This is crucial to helping instructors provide a safe, controlled, effective and enjoyable Bikeability session. We would look to adapt communication and delivery methods, increase instructor to rider ratios or find equipment to support that young person.
What else does your department do, alongside Bikeability?
Our Bikeability offer includes, Levels 1-3, Bikeability Fix and Bikeability promotion. On top of this we run extremely popular Learn to Ride sessions which run during school holidays and are a huge success. We’ve had people come from as far as north Wales and Bristol to take part! During the school holidays we also offer Bikeability Level 1 courses and we work with local community groups to broaden our offer outside of schools. As a Road Safety Team we have an array of initiatives that many schools participate in and which complement Bikeability delivery.
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