Harwich & Dovercourt
Following the success of Essex Pedal Power in Clacton and Jaywick, the programme launched in Harwich and Dovercourt allowing eligible residents to apply for a new, free bike. The programme has also piloted the loan of children's seats, for family inclusive cycling.
The Essex Pedal Power programme in Harwich and Dovercourt, is a partnership of the Active Essex Local Delivery Pilot, Sport England, Essex County Council, NHS Suffolk and North Essex, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS), Tendring District Council, the London Marathon Foundation (LMF), CVS Tendering (CVST) and Wheels for All.
Active Essex have been able to further support the programme through marketing and communications, by creating materials to promote the project. This has included, assets and posters about child seats, cycling routes and bike safety. These materials have been integral for the success of the programme when engaging families.
Free training has been provided for all children and adults, which not only allows recipients to improve their cycling knowledge, but has also helped them to understand basic bike maintenance to ensure they can look after their bike and keep it in working condition.
As well as training sessions, led rides and themed events which have been held to encourage local residents to enjoy cycling together. The Essex Pedal Power community have strengthened through such events, supporting participants to meet new people and develop connections with others in their community.
The Essex Pedal Power team have strived to create new opportunities for those within the community and this has included volunteer roles, ride leaders, bike mechanics, and new community cycling groups. There has been a report of low levels of employment in this area which is why it’s been important for community development. Essex Pedal Power has offered skills and opportunities for local residents to enable them to access new volunteer roles and jobs further afield.
With high inactivity levels in the area, the project is aimed at residents and families who need support to become more active, enabling active travel whether that to be to work, school or leisure facilities. Not only does cycling bring physical benefits, it also improves mental wellbeing by motivating residents to get outside on their bike.
Distributing the remaining bikes, as well as continuing training sessions, volunteer opportunities and led rides, will strengthen this community offer further. With the continuation of the 3 month check-in service for children’s bikes, it will allow the team to assess the bikes condition to ensure they are kept in the best possible condition for when the loan period ends.