Charity duo given award for accessible cycling scheme

Two women who started a cycling scheme for disabled people have had their good work recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Chris Hill and Liz Gray were both awarded at the Care and Support West Awards for starting Warmley Wheelers, an accessible cycle scheme run by local learning disability charity Milestones Trust. The awards promote quality in social care, health and support services in the ex-Avon area.

Chris, a project co-ordinator at Milestones Trust, said: “We were elated to have won as a lot of hard work has been put into the scheme. It is proving to be successful and very popular and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

Liz – whose son is supported by the Trust’s day opportunities service – and Chris were recognised in the Day Services Front Line Worker category, which celebrates the development of community based day services that offer life skill support and promote independence.

The Warmley Wheelers scheme does just that – offering a variety of accessible bikes so that people with various disabilities are able to cycle. Chris said: “It’s wonderful to see the freedom these accessible bikes can bring to our service users.

“We’ve also worked with local school children so we really hope to encourage more people who wouldn’t normally be able to ride a bike due to a disability, to get involved.”

There are wheelchair-adapted bikes, as well as ones designed for two people and others that are ideal for people learning to cycle. The project is based near the Bristol and Bath Railway Path in Warmley, Bristol, allowing cyclists to travel around a safe, circular route.

The scheme was made possible following a successful bid by Chris and Liz last year, which secured funding from the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Travel Fund for Communities.

Since then Warmley Wheelers has been used by almost 100 people, were part of Bristol’s Festival of Nature Carnivelo ride event last weekend and is available for group hire. For more information please visit www.milestonestrust.org.uk/wheelers or call Patrick on 07881 270351.