This is Alex's story. We met Alex when he was 56 years old while he was training at our secure bike workshop inside Bristol Prison. Over the weeks he was with us, he started to chat more and eventually started to tell us about his life and what had led him to this place. It's always a great honour to be trusted in this way and we are especially grateful to Alex for agreeing to share his story with you too. Here it is:
the low down
Since the latest lockdown was announced, we’ve been studying the rules carefully. We're glad that the Government continues to recognise the importance of cycling, both for safe local travel and for maintaining good physical and mental health. The good news is that Life Cycle can continue helping those who want to cycle through the lockdown. Our workshops in Bristol and Derby will stay open for Bike sales and servicing. One-to-one Cycle Buddies sessions can also continue safely.
For visually impaired, disabled and neurodivergent people, getting outdoors and taking invigorating exercise can be challenging at the best of times. But what do you do when a global pandemic hits? Luckily we have some incredible people in our ‘Two’s Company’ family who helped us adapt our service and find strength in new approaches. Here’s what they did…
The lockdown saw a massive spike in demand for bikes as people reclaimed the roads for their daily exercise. But the bicycle served a more serious purpose too. It became a lifeline for key workers who had previously relied on public transport: Suddenly they risked catching or transmitting the deadly virus as they travelled to work - or having to walk miles every day.
Covid-19 has forced vulnerable people to spend a lot of time at home, leaving them frightened to engage with the outside world and suffering from poor physical and mental health. Our Cycle Buddies project has supported those who would normally come on our group cycle rides - and a new group of people who wanted to ease the isolating effects of lockdown. We spoke to Simon, a Support Worker, who has referred several people into Cycle Buddies:
We are delighted to report that after being put on hold due to lockdown, our long-time collaborator Lord Burlington and his team of six, have completed their sponsored cycle ride of 208 miles raising over £17,000 for Foundation Derbyshire.
We’re really proud to unveil our new 3D display in the window of “Future Leap” - the Future Economy Network’s Sustainability Hub on Bristol’s famous Gloucester Road. Our very own Craig (who as well as being a member of our “Bike Back” team, is also a talented designer) has produced an engaging board game to explain the work we do with prisoners, the benefits it brings to them and our offer to the wider community.