Getting children on the bike for the first time: Shaf’s story

Distributed through schools and communities alongside programmes; Go Ride, Ride Active and Bikeability and through local Community Cycle Clubs, the loaned bikes have enabled a range of children of ages up to 15 to get on a bike for the first time, or more regularly. The bikes have offered not only a way to keep active, but also a greener and often more fun way to travel.

Shaf has two children aged 7 and 9 who were recipients of bikes. “The bikes have been extensively and joyfully used. The children, including my 4 year old on his balance bike, cycle to school 4 times a week. Most evenings straight after school the children cycle outside our home on the service road. They cycle so much we have had to park the bikes against our console table in the hallway for ease of access”.

Shaf says “The bikes have been especially good for my son who has a disability and for whom cycling is incredibly hard.  He has been so enthusiastic in wanting to cycle and constantly asks to cycle round the block”.

Not only are there the obvious physical health benefits of cycling, many are finding it is benefitting their mental health and wellbeing too.

Shaf adds “In terms of mental health, the children cycling has enhanced all our health. The fast paced walking required to keep up with them gives me a mental boost. I also noticed that the children would complain of feeling tired when required to walk home after school. However, when cycling, they can go for much longer and have to be forced to come in for dinner”.

About HSBC UK Bike Banks

HSBC UK Bike Banks is a programme that will help hundreds of children from across Birmingham onto two wheels by providing free bikes and equipment, has been launched by HSBC UK and British Cycling, alongside The Active Wellbeing Society.

The long term bike loan programme aims to reach children within the top 10% most disadvantaged communities of the city, to ensure that, regardless of their background, children have access to a bike and can embrace the joys and health benefits of cycling.

HSBC UK Bike Banks is free to use for anyone aged 15 and under (with parent or guardian’s consent) and can be delivered in a school setting or in the local community.

Cycling initiatives for you…

If you would like to find out more about wider cycling opportunities including details of Led Rides, Local Community Cycle Clubs, Learn to Ride courses for both children and adults, and how you can get involved in the HSBC UK Bike Bank scheme please visit:

Have you got a story to tell?

We’re keen to hear from people on how they started their wellbeing journey or from partners who work collaboratively to make it easier for people to access local initiatives. If you’d like to contribute or would like us to showcase your achievement please email [email protected]

Adeel Khan
Author: Adeel Khan