Inclusive cycling in and around Sheffield
Below is some basic information on inclusive cycling shops, centres, groups, and hire places. If you know any others please let me know and we will add it to the list. Click here for our contact form.
Hiring and riding.
Rothervalley Country Park – www.rvcp.co.uk/activities/cycle-hire/
Free parking for blue badge holders, and they have a small range of trikes that you can hire with a flat route around the lake.
Peak District – www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/cycle/bike-hire-centres
All of their cycle hire centres have trikes or alternative cycles.
Ashbourne – 01335 343156.
Derwent – 01433 651261.
Parsley Hay – 01298 84493.
Manifold – 01298 687399.
Cycle Happy – www.cyclehappy.org
Based in Sheffield, they run cycling sessions for children and young adults. It is a great place to share information, chat and cycling in a safe environment. They have a range of trikes and cycling options, and are based at Forge Valley Cycle Circuit, S6 5HG, and run most Fridays from April until October. There is a waiting list, so please contact them via their website before turning up.
Sheffield Cycling 4 All – www.sheffieldcycling4all.org
We are primarily an adults cycling group for Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, but we have some trikes that may fit children and are a wealth of knowledge if you need any advice. We offer cycling sessions in Hillsborough park and also have a e-trike loan scheme, where we loan trikes to people for 1 to 3 months at a time for free.
Wheels for all Doncaster – https://www.dclt.co.uk/venues/the-dome/activities/cycling/
They run 50-minute inclusive cycling sessions on a Wednesday between 10.00am – 1.00pm for adults and children.
Pedal Ready – www.pedalready.uk
They offer a range of cycling activities aimed at getting people confident on bicycles in South Yorkshire.
Cycleboost – www.cycleboost.org
They offers a range of cycling activities in Sheffield mostly for adults.
Cycle North – https://www.cyclenorth.co.uk/info-for-parents
They do cycle training for children, funded via Sheffield City Council.
British Cycling – www.letsride.co.uk
There are various different events and options they offer from womans only rides, to family try-out days.
Sheffield City Council – https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/travel-transport/cycle-rides-groups-coaching
Council page about all things cycling, including Sheffield Cycle Map.
Cycling UK are currently offering free month loan of an electric bike for adults – https://www.cyclinguk.org/sheffield-making-cycling-e-asier-session-and-loan-booking
We have to admit trikes are expensive, especially electric trikes.
Here are links to some shops that stock trikes:
The obvious choice given the expense of new trikes and cycles is to look for something second hand. Try eBay, using the words Recumbent Trike for example. If you find something you like the look of, we are happy to advise and give our thoughts if you want a second opinion.
It’s also worth trying some of the shops listed above to see if they have any second-hand or ex-demo trikes in stock at reduced prices.
Although not as easy on Sheffield’s hills there are two main advantages to non-electric trikes. Firstly they are a lot cheaper, and secondly they are much lighter, making it easier to lift your trike into a storage area or car. If you do decide to go for a non-electric trike, just make sure that they have low enough gears to tackle the hills.
- If you are working you can ask your employers if they are doing a ride to work scheme.
- Both of these websites have links to lots of useful information about sources of funding available for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. If you need help filling out a grant application, please get in touch.
- Wheels for Wellbeing have a useful page on their website which aims to help individuals considering buying a cycle as a mobility aid https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/getting-your-own-wheels/
Trike-friendly bike shops in Sheffield.
Tony Butterworth – 0114 234 3218
86-90 Catch Bar Ln, Sheffield S6 1TA
Bike rehab – 0114 438 8506
100 Wellington St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 4HX
A Different Gear – 0114 250 7717
62-68 Thirlwell Road, Sheffield S8 9TF
Russell’s Bicycle Shed Neepsend – 07379 540952
92 Burton Road, Neepsend, Sheffield, S3 8BX
Russell’s Bicycle Shed Sheffield Station – 07787 641441
Sheffield Railway Station, Sheaf Street, S1 2BP.
Lindsey, 70, (and proud of it) was born and bred in Sheffield and has lived here all her life barring 5 years away, (where she was somewhere near Rotherham).
She has visited Sheffield Cycling 4 All (SC4A) 61 times as part of our VIP group (Visually Impaired pedallers) since 2021.
Lindsey has always loved dancing and started ballroom dancing at 9 years old, but never had a boyfriend or husband who she could partner with, so ended up being able to dance lead!
Before losing her sight Lindsey went out and saw friends, but ‘not much else’. Then thirteen or fourteen years ago, Lindsey went to bed fine and woke up in the morning having lost the sight of her left eye.
‘I could still drive, and there were lots of things I could do once I got used to it.’
However, four months later Lindsey lost the sight in her right eye. She was in the Hallamshire hospital every day for a week and,
‘They didn’t have a scooby do what was wrong with me’…
Until one doctor mentioned Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease. It was so rare that ‘every doctor had to come see me to have a look!’
After a couple of days in hospital,
‘I could see light! I can see the sun shining. I was so excited. The prof give me a hug, I think he was happier than me.’
Lindsey’s eyesight would go and come back, she was happy, because if it had come back, it might again.
Richard, her husband, took time off to support Lindsey when she got home, as she couldn’t see and there were all the drugs she needed to take. Lindsey was a lab tech at a school and it was coming up to the 6 week summer holidays, so she could take it off work easy.
‘This is when I found out who my friends were. In those 6 weeks, I never spent more than a couple of hours on my own. My friends were absolute gems!’
They visited morning and afternoon, helping out and chatting.
‘Since losing my sight, that’s when I got all my hobbies!’
‘When I lost my first eye, a friend Sue took me to Mappin street,’ Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). ‘I felt like a little girl, Sue was holding my hands. I didn’t know what I was going to do, who I was going to talk to or what to say’.
They offered listening books, theatre trips, and creative writing which Lindsey was ‘not bothered about’ but she did make a friend called Alwyn, who organised the theatre trips. Lindsey would go to with friends.
A couple of years later they started offering more physical activities, which was more Lindsey’s cup of tea! Her hobbies now include Curling, Tennis, Cycling, Snooker and Crown green bowling. She also mentioned Shooting and Archery, and the only reason she doesn’t do these anymore is that they clash with other activities!
At tennis, Lindsey won the tournament at the Sheffield/South Yorkshire group and got a beautiful cup and medals. She was then invited to play at Wimbledon. Lindsey couldn’t believe it, and took a little persuasion! ‘I can’t go!!!’ but she did and played on court 4!
Lindsey heard about SC4A through SRSB, along with all the other activities.
When they told Lindsey about cycling, Lindsey thought;
‘I’d rather not cycle alone, I could run in to a dog. I wanted to ride with my friends’.
Lindsey comes nearly every week with her friend Tina, and they ride one of our side by side tandems.
Lindsey met Tina at The Lizzie Dripping Morris Dance team, before her vision was going. ‘We just clicked, we were the rebels of the Morris dancers’, so she asked her to come along, and they love it!
The cycling helps Lindsey with her hips and legs, and she can move more easily as a result. ‘Depending on my knees, depends on how long I can cycle for, but we nearly always do an hour.’
Tina is in charge of steering and is always asking Lindsey if she can manage another hill! ‘What a wonderful girl she is!’
‘I will continue to cycle at SC4A as long as you are there freezing your socks off, I love it.’
‘I met all you lot [volunteers and session workers] you are all wonderful. You’re all lovely’
‘We look forward to it. A lot of things I do are inside, and it’s nice to be outside’.
‘When we come down to the VIPs, we are always greeted with an array of smiley faces and a warm welcome. They are friendly and extremely helpful. The reason that I first joined the VIPs was that I knew we would all be in the same boat, so I was at ease. I would now feel confident in mixing with other groups’.
Tina was asked what the benefits of cycling at SC4A were to her, and she said ‘Well outdoors, very interesting lovely scenery, in all seasons because we come most of the year [don’t we Linz?!], to get round the park, spend time with Lindsey because we are very good friends, and we have a good chat, and its great exercise. I wouldn’t normally do this type of exercise because I am not a cyclist normally, and we get to meet the staff, volunteers and other users, and it’s just great fun, I just really love it.’
Dan, 40, started volunteering at Sheffield Cycling 4 All (SC4A) in September 2022 as an Admin volunteer, once a week we would send him new data to input into our database. This is a task that can be done at home and isn’t very exciting, so we are always grateful to anyone who can do it well and for an extended amount of time. We tried to keep Dan engaged with other admin-based tasks as it appeared that Dan found the admin easy. We invited him to become a session volunteer on a trial in March 2023, and he was excellent. He picked things up quickly and becomes more confident and chatty the more sessions he does. Now he does our admin, and one day of session volunteering a week. Dan has supported 38 cycling sessions, and attended training courses including – Mental Health first aid, Equity and equity training, Cycle training, and Disability awareness training. He also featured in his residents new letter for his volunteer work at SC4A!
I was born in Sheffield and grew up here until I was 14 years old. I then spent the last two years of my school years living in East Sussex. I spent two and a half years living in Rotterdam in Holland. While living there I also spent several months traveling around Europe. I have lived in different parts of England, mostly around London and the South East while working in construction.
I enjoy computing, outdoor activities such as walking and cycling, especially out in the Peak District. I enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy traveling, this is something over the last few years I have not had the chance to do as much as I would like but something I would like to do more of in the future.
I have spent some time out of work due to mental health issues and decided a year and a half ago to try and do some volunteering. I found out about VAS through speaking to people and arranged an appointment with them. It was here where it was suggested that Sheffield Cycling 4 All would be a good fit for me.
I really enjoy my time with SC4A working with the staff, other volunteers and of course the cyclists.
I find it very rewarding helping a diverse group of people from all walks of life with different disabilities and long-term health conditions and seeing the real benefits it can have on people’s physical and mental health.
It gives me a chance to meet people from all over Sheffield and the wider area who I otherwise may not have the chance to meet.
I have also noticed the benefits it has had one personally. Helping out with this fantastic organisation within this friendly and welcoming group of staff and volunteers makes me feel better about myself and has a positive effect on maintaining my own mental health, boosting my confidence and helping keeping me active.
I understand from my own experiences in life the importance of trying to keep active and an organisation like SC4A is a great way of promoting this by offering and making accessible a fun activity like cycling for people who may otherwise not take part in this great activity.
I was born and brought up In Sheffield. I was always interested in swimming, reading, cinema and art before MS. I used to make all my own clothes and those of my partner. I have lived with my partner since 1978 and we only just got married! We have a daughter who was born in 1994 and she has been a joy in our lives. We both have large families who have been very supportive with my illness.
I worked as a nurse midwife and health visitor for many years and then went into health and nursing management. My last post from 2000 to 2006, was as a Surestart program manager in Tinsley Sheffield. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001 and worked until I took ill health retirement in 2006 as my health had deteriorated and I was in a wheelchair.
MS has resulted in poor balance and an inability to walk, as well as the loss of the use of my right arm. I have a motorised wheelchair and specialised wheelchair back that supports me in as upright a posture as is possible. I have had physiotherapy continually since having MS as I find it very beneficial for my posture and sore limbs and muscles. I have also often acted as a guinea pig for physiotherapy students at the Hallam University which I enjoy.
I first heard about Sheffield Cycling 4 All in February 2023 through my Physiotherapist and that was when I started coming to the cycling sessions.
I feel SC4A has had a big impact on my life. The sense of achievement has been quite startling as I didn’t realise how much I needed this in my life.
Being in a wheelchair for 17 1/2 years has been such a struggle, but I have managed with the help of my husband, daughter, family and friends and my carers. However, many times you feel you are slowly drowning as it is so hard to hold onto anything positive in your life when everything you enjoyed and were able to achieve in life seems to have been taken from you.
I never thought cycling would have such a big impact on me and I wish I had done it sooner. My current carer is a gem as she is able to cycle with me on Jayne, the Van Raam Side by Side tandem cycle. I thoroughly enjoy it and it is so good to get out in the fresh air and be at one with nature. I really feel this has benefited my feelings of positivity and I do find it easier to feel happier and positive in the day.
Cycling has really helped me to feel stronger in my legs and able to transfer more efficiently, using my walking frame from chair to bed etc.
I’m a fairly positive person and always try to have a good outlook on life, but I do feel going cycling has really helped me boost this. It’s also really good to be out in the park. I’m seeing others who have severe health issues and debilitating conditions find such joy and sense of achievement through cycling. Everyone is thrilled to be there, knowing that this is something that they can do as the bikes and trikes are all adapted to use and are able to accommodate everyone that comes to the sessions.
The workers and volunteers are extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the equipment, the adaptations and how to approach the cycling. They’re very good at boosting your confidence; at helping you to feel you can undertake something that can be quite scary at first.
I hope I will be able to continue to cycle at the Sheffield Cycling 4 All sessions as I cannot do this on my own and I do require a carer or another person to cycle with me. I don’t think I would be able to manage on an electric cycle on my own as I wouldn’t be confident now in traffic, but perhaps on a cycle trail that might be a possibility.
Since she first came to visit SC4A at the start of 2023, Sally has been cycling 38 times (at the time of writing this – Oct 2023). She has also been involved in other aspects of the project by sending letters to the Council about the MUGA redevelopment, as well as encouraging her daughter to do the same!
My name is Christine Stubbs & I am 72 years old. My pastimes are reading, sewing, family, holidays, cycling & going to the theatre.
I was born in Moorends, Doncaster, the youngest of 3 children. As a child with 2 older brothers & living just outside the village we were surrounded by lanes so you soon learned how to scooter or make Go Karts or ride any bike that you could. I was 13 when I got my first new bike & I went all over on it. When I got a live in job as a nanny I would cycle home about 14 miles & back on my day off. Later, when I got married, I then cycled to work & back 5 days a week, still on my old faithful! Later as my first daughter Paula came along and was big enough, I got another bike second hand with a child seat on, my husband also purchased one & we often rode 5 to 6 miles to parks etc. Then our second daughter Kim was born & when she was big enough she had the seat at the back of me & Paula had a crossbar seat in front of Brian. We went all over like that for a few years till the girls could ride bikes and we would cycle to school & back.
As we got older & our 2 grandchildren came along, out came the bikes, new child seats were fitted & we was off again!
Moving on, as I got older and started with arthritis in my left hip, I again went back to cycling after my hip replacement. I was not great on the bike, especially on inclines so I bought an electric bike. On the move again after another hip replacement, I relied more on the bike as my first hip replacement had gone very wrong & I couldn’t walk far but cycling was great. When we retired we went all over, taking the bikes with us. During covid, the bikes were a godsend; we would be out almost every day in all weathers, keeping safe but keeping fit both in body & mind.
It was just after we came out of lockdown that I got knocked off my bike by a car and I needed a knee replacement. After a time of recovery I didn’t feel very confident about getting back on the bike so I bought an exercise bike, how boring sat there looking at a wall! It was at this time someone suggested a trike. Whilst looking online at trikes, I came across the SC4A web site so I rang them for information and was told all about the programme they ran. I was invited to their base in Hillsborough in Sheffield for a visit. Me & my husband was made very welcome & everyone was so friendly. Whilst there we talked about my needs and I tried out several trikes. Unfortunately, no electric ones were available at that time but SC4A kept in touch and a while later I was invited back to try out a folding electric trike . We brought it home and I tried it a few times but no this one was not for me. We took the trike back and I tried a couple more but I wanted a folding one so we could take it in the back of the car on days out. Luckily a few weeks later SC4A called us back with what they call a tadpole trike, that is 2 wheels at the front and 1 at the back. My husband was very dubious thinking this not to be very stable but after a few times around the park that was it, I had found my wheels again & was off!
We were able to take it out on loan for 3 months & it was great, the only drawback is we live near the canal & we cycle the canal banks quite a lot, but due to A frame barriers, access can be tricky because the trike won’t fit through these. But we got out and about, and I was very sad when I had to return the trike. Fortunately I was able to buy my own tadpole trike a few weeks later and am reaping the benefits from this as it’s keeping my hips and knees working and I feel confident and safe on it most of the time (just wish there wasn’t so many potholes in the roads). Because it’s an unusual trike lots of people want to talk to us about it and I get a few thumbs up from motorists which is a good feeling and makes me happy. The more I use the trike, the more benefits I feel, both in body and mind (and my 21yr old grandson thinks I’m cool, what more could I ask for!!).
I always enjoy going back to SC4A, they are a great bunch of people and so helpful, and everybody there seems to have a good time. The benefit i have gained from finding SC4A was that I found the right trike for my individual needs. So thank you SC4A, you have been great and I hope you go from strength to strength and help many more people like me get back in the saddle.
Where are you from? (where were you born / brought up / etc)
I’m from Sheffield, born and bred. I was brought up in the north side of Sheffield.
What are your interests?
I have always been a highly active person, with a passion for outdoor activities that allow me to burn off energy and have fun. From playing football for two local teams and climbing trees to riding bikes and exploring nature, I have always enjoyed being outside and being physically active. As an adult, my interests have remained largely the same, with a focus on competitive badminton, climbing (both trad and bouldering), paddleboarding, hiking, cycling (including commuting, mountain biking, and bike-packing), and any other activity that gets my heart racing. Alongside these hyperactive pursuits, I also enjoy reading, playing guitar, listening to music, and watching documentaries related to my outdoor interests. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out “The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young” – it’s an incredible documentary about an ultramarathon trail race in Tennessee that I absolutely love.
As much general information / personal history as you are happy to provide.
Describing myself is not my strongest suit, but much of my personal background can be seen through my interests, work experience, and education. As a resident of Sheffield, I am passionate about outdoor activities such as cycling and staying physically active. My educational background includes a BSc (Hons) in sports coaching and an MSc in Psychology and Education. Throughout my career, I have held various roles ranging from a retention agent at Virgin Media to a sales and bike technician at Decathlon UK.
If there’s one thing I’d like others to know about me, it’s that I’m a friendly outdoors enthusiast from Sheffield who enjoys coffee, spending time in nature, and having a good laugh. Additionally, I am deeply committed and enthusiastic about promoting mental and physical wellness through community outreach and engagement.
How did you hear about SC4A?
My initial encounter with SC4A was a visual one, rather than through word of mouth. During my regular commute to play badminton, I would ride through Hillsborough Park and often catch sight of SC4A. This piqued my curiosity and left me wondering about the activities taking place in the park for the remainder of my commute.
What motivated you to volunteer at SC4A?
My love for cycling was the initial draw that led me to SC4A. When I first spotted the trikes, I felt an immediate desire to try them out. As I delved deeper into the organization and learned about their various initiatives, my decision to become a volunteer was solidified.
How long did you volunteer with SC4A?
I have been volunteering for SC4A for 1 year 10 months and counting.
Were you supported your roles at SC4A? If so how?
Absolutely! SC4A has been a tremendous source of support for me in a variety of ways. Not only have they provided me with assistance and guidance related to my volunteer duties, but they have also offered me support with my mental and physical well-being, as well as my day-to-day life. Additionally, SC4A has given me references for job prospects, a safe and open space to discuss any topic, and the opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests. They have also offered me a range of training and development opportunities, including the necessary tools and qualifications to become a paid session worker, such as obtaining a first aider at work certification.
Can you describe the impact SC4A has had on you?
It has had a massive impact on me
- I take immense pride in being a part of and advocating for SC4A and Disability Sheffield.
- Volunteering with SC4A has provided me with the opportunity to contribute to a community project that brings immense joy and benefits to all involved.
- One of the greatest pleasures of my volunteer work is seeing the joy and smiles on the faces of those who participate in our sessions. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that I helped create that happiness.
- My work with SC4A has opened up networking opportunities, allowing me to pursue a career in the cycling industry as a behavioral change officer for Cycling UK.
- Working with like-minded individuals who share my interests has been a motivating factor for me. It’s been an amazing experience meeting and collaborating with such incredible people and being able to share my passions with others.
Any plans to cycle in the future?
Oh for sure, I’ll be cycling for the rest of my life.
Anything else to add?
I could write a lengthy 15,000-word dissertation detailing my wonderful experiences with SC4A, but to keep it short and sweet, I’ll simply say that SC4A is an incredible project, and I am immensely grateful and honored to be a part of it. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to Tom and Rosemary, as well as to all the fantastic volunteers, ambassadors, and other individuals who have contributed to the creation and growth of SC4A and Disability Sheffield. Thank you all for your outstanding work and dedication!
Message from SC4A team
Joe is a pleasure to work with. His enthusiasm and focus is obvious but this doesn’t blind him to learning new things. Joe’s job at Cycling UK has meant he can’t volunteer regularly on a week day any more but he has been working for us as a Session worker once a month doing our Saturday cycling sessions, and he is still involved as much as he can be.
Having Joe working at Cycling UK means we have great links with the Sheffield team. They bring down new staff members to see our trikes and meet our cyclists, this helps them have a wider picture of who can cycle given the right environment.
Oliver and Fiona
Oliver loves playing on his Nintendo switch, watching YouTube, watching TV especially old comedies (current favourite is Gavin and Stacy – as has the whole DVD box set) and listening to music. Oliver has Learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. He previously has had blood clots in his leg, which is why regular exercise is so important and because of balance issues he is limited to what exercises he can do. He can weight bear with support and has a walking frame that he uses a couple of times a week to walk around parks, but uses a wheelchair to get everywhere, and when at home he crawls around. He lives with mum and partner, and has two carers to access community.
Oliver comes to Sheffield cycling 4 All (SC4A) with one of his carers Fiona. They started coming to SC4A about 6 years ago, and have been 155 times together. Fiona found cycling through an internet search.
They use our Van Ramm Fun-2-Go side by sides. Fiona steers and brakes, and both Fiona and Oliver pedal. Oliver’s pedals can be put in three different settings: 1. Pedals disengaged, 2. Pedal engaged, 3. Fixie style – Pedals move if the cycle is moving. Fiona said ‘Oliver normally has setting 2, I usually let him cycle a bit on his own to really get his heart pumping and his muscles working! When he was recovering from his blood clots we used the settings where the pedals just go round [setting 1] and I certainly noticed the difference going up the hills!!’
Fiona said ‘Oliver enjoys the actual cycling but really enjoys meeting and talking to people, he looks forward to seeing regulars. He feels happy after going to a session, and never says he doesn’t want to cycle (unlike some other activities!). …We both really enjoy our sessions and missed it during COVID and appreciate Sheffield cycling 4 all staff and volunteers not sure what else to put!! I enjoy cycling, notice that when we haven’t been for a few weeks our stamina and strength are worse! So definitely appreciate health benefits but also enjoy the company! Friendly welcome from staff, volunteers and other people using the service and Oliver is always included in conversations’.
Consultation Summary 2023
We’ve been consulting with the SC4A community to find out: what is important to you, what we are doing well, what we could be doing better and where we want to go in the future.
We heard from well over 100 people through workshops, surveys and at our 15th anniversary celebrations. Here’s what you said!
Why is SC4A important to you…
… because we support better physical health and mobility by providing an accessible means to exercise. Many of you told us it wouldn’t be possible to cycle without SC4A.
A lot of people talked about our sessions promoting wellbeing. The activities are fun, you feel happy here, and enjoy socialising and meeting new people. It also motivates you to get out the house and you appreciate being outdoors in the park, getting some fresh air.
Importantly, you feel free and independent on your cycle, it builds your confidence. You enjoy feeling in control and experiencing something fun and a bit risky in a safe way!
What we’re doing well…
You want us to keep doing things as we are at Hillsborough Park – the location is important to you, the affordable price, the large variety of cycles, and you like the staff and volunteers! You like the basic ethos of the project: the inclusive and friendly atmosphere, and the promotion of independence for cyclists.
We know how important it is to you that we keep all this going. That’s why our focus right now is on securing core funding for at least another 5 years. We’re also aiming to create sustainable financial plan so we can keep going well into the future.
What would make us better…
You had lots of ideas, big and small, of things we could improve on. Some of these we can’t control, like the weather! But others we can – like having alternative plans for when we cancel at the park, and recruiting more volunteers, particularly pilots for the tandems.
We are taking on board your feedback. Some of these changes will be quick and others will take time. We can’t promise to do them all, but we promise to do our best!
New activities you want us to do in the future…
And finally, you’ve shared lots of ideas for new things we can do in the future. The most popular ideas were:
- Organise longer cycling trips in different places outside of the park
- Start cycling sessions in more places across Sheffield and South Yorkshire
- Open an inclusive cycling centre (which could be a place where people can cycle indoors, get hot drinks, and tuition for cycling and cycling maintenance)
All these things will need funding too and may take time, but we can start planning for them now! We want to know how these things will work best for you so expect to hear more questions from us in time… 😊
Alex – Ex volunteer
I was born in the Netherlands, moved to the UK aged 4 and grew up in Hertfordshire and moved to Sheffield for university, where I studied languages.
I heard about Sheffield Cycling 4 All (SC4A) from a friend who was cycling there.
I wanted to get work experience after university. I was doing lots of volunteering on different days of the week, and this was one of them.
I tutored in Maths GCSE, was training in English as a second language, and volunteering in a Food waste shop.
Started about aged 25 and volunteered a couple of years. I started helping putting trikes away then cycling with people. When Covid hit I did paperwork and admin for SC4A from home.
I was supported in my roles at SC4A. I was given the chance to do a range of different tasks, from cycle maintenance, to setting up the base, supporting people to cycle and data entry.
Formal training courses I did included Bike maintenance training and Dementia awareness training.
It gave me confidence in getting a paid role in the same sector.
I am now a support/project worker at Burton Street. [Burton Street Foundation is a Learning Disability Day service which has other services as well]
I help to run various sessions for adults with physical and learning difficulties to boost their self-confidence and knowledge.
Transferable skills from being a volunteer at SC4A include working with a variety of different people, adapting to them, having good communication skills, good hygiene practices skills, as well as running sessions as part of a team successfully, using my emotional intelligence and problem solving.
Benefits from volunteering at SC4A have included Mental well-being and having a sense of purpose, the chance to have a routine as well as work experience and building confidence.
I don’t currently cycle, the habit is gone, but I plan to.
Please give other volunteers the chance I had.
Jules first came to visit Sheffield Cycling 4 All in April 2017 after an old friend, Caroline, suggested he come down to Hillsborough for a ride following an accident which resulted in multiple Disabilities.
He soon signed up as a volunteer, helping to set up sessions and fit people with trikes, cycling with people and spreading the word about the group. He saw SC4A as a community which he was proud to be a part of. He was a great advocate for cycling and for the benefits that it brings. He once said,
“Money can’t buy the wellbeing that I get out of this.”
Jules always had time for everyone he met, and his warmth and kindness helped to make people feel welcome when they came cycling. He was always willing to do whatever needed doing in order to help out at cycling sessions and was incredibly enthusiastic about volunteering,
“As soon as I came down I was hooked, absolutely – I said this is amazing, and I still feel the same now – It’s so rewarding just being down there”.
“When I first came down to Sheffield Cycling 4 All I just immediately felt a sense of happiness and freedom – it was just so good for me and then actually being asked to volunteer was just incredible – once I started doing that it filled a gap in my life that i didn’t know was there”.
“Because of my accident I owe the NHS so much and doing this for Disability Sheffield, it just makes total sense to me – it’s really, really helped my wellbeing coming down here”.
When asked whether his involvement with Sheffield Cycling 4 All had increased his circle of friends, Jules said,
“I’ve made new friends since being here, without a shadow of a doubt – it’s like a community – we’re all here for the same thing, that’s socialising, to get some exercise, and just to laugh and have fun”
“It’s part of my social life I would say – it’s so nice making people smile – we’re all in it for the same thing and it’s such a good cause – It’s saved my life, it’s given me a purpose in life, and that’s quite a big deal. Everybody gets involved – it is like a big happy family who are out there for each other and to have a good time”.
Caroline said “I have known Julius since he was 14, and when I spoke to him after his accident, I could tell he was in a rutt, the same as I had been, after my Brain injury. And am so very happy he came to try out Sheffield Cycling 4 All. He loved the people, and he often repeated, cycles are for hire. But love comes free“.
Sadly, Jules passed away in December 2022. We will miss his enthusiasm, his lovely smile, and his wicked sense of humour!