At The Active Wellbeing Society, we’ve been working with Birmingham City Council’s Active Travel Fund and Raleigh UK to give away 500 more Big Birmingham Bikes across the city this year. Big Birmingham Bikes is a city council initiative which works to increase the health and mobility of those who do not have the resources to buy their own bicycles
We sat down with some of our giveaway participants to hear what owning a bike meant for them:
Javed is 42 years old; he works for a transport company. He received one of our bikes, which will be his to keep, and use. He is looking forward to using the bike to commute to work as he said it’s important for his wellbeing to spend time outdoors.
‘I enjoy riding a bike in the summer to commute to work, which is a 2-mile trek. I believe riding the bike will help my fitness and health. Also, it will help reduce my carbon footprint, as well as helping me financially.’
Cycling is great for our mental wellbeing, as well as our physical health, as it boosts endorphins while getting in the recommended daily exercise. Javed said that his bike has also helped him reduce the cost of commuting to and from work.
Daria is another giveaway participant who applied for our big Birmingham Bike giveaway this year. She is a 36 years old, single parent with 4 children and is currently unemployed. Daria and her children recently received one of our free bikes each.
She loved the bike and the freedom it gave her and her children, ‘I’ve always enjoyed cycling and have always tried to give my children the opportunity to cycle.
My children are very happy to have received a bike as the ones they have are either broken or too small for them. This has helped me so much as I wouldn’t have been able to afford to get all my children and myself a bike.
It has been so lovely to be able to cycle again after so many years. I know I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do this for myself, so I feel very grateful to have been given such a wonderful gift.’
The last participant we spoke with was 27-year-old Muhammad from Small Heath, who enjoys going cycling with his brother.
He applied for our Bike giveaway and received one of our free bikes to keep. He was really grateful and excited to have his own bike, Muhammad explained that:
‘Sadly, I have never been able to afford a good bike. But I am really grateful for the good quality bikes The Active Wellbeing Society have provided me with. I can finally go on rides with my brother.’