We would really love to be able to help all of the very worthy requests for support we receive for fundraising and charity donations. Nonetheless our position is that we have made a decision to make a big difference to one charity, which our colleagues voted for, and that’s the NSPCC. Additionally, our investment in the Bikeability Trust, the national charity for cycling training, our partnership with the Scouts Association and relationship with Re~Cycle, is our way of supporting and educating communities, as well as delivering hard-working sustainability projects.
We are delighted to have formed an exciting new partnership with the Bikeability Trust, the national charity for cycling training to help more primary school age children in England access safe cycling programmes.
As part of this exciting new initiative, we have invested in the Bikeability programme in order to increase access to Bikeability across the country. Our ambition is to help more children cycle more safely and more often and we believe that cycling is a fun and essential life skill, not to be missed out on.
The cycling training programme is based on the government’s National Standard for cycle and instructor training. It helps beginners to start learning in traffic-free environments before eventually developing their skills and confidence to progress on to local roads to tackling often busier, multi-lane roads and complex junctions.
Our own research shows that 12 per cent of British families with kids under 12 have at least one family member who doesn’t know how to ride a bike. This downward trend could continue in years to come unless we do more to raise awareness about the importance of learning how to cycle. Our own statistics also suggest that many parents (56 per cent) want cycling safety added to the National Curriculum, so that all children ride 'competently, confidently and proficiently' on the roads.
The benefits of cycling and walking are enormous. Cycling enables cheaper travel, better health and for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places. It is our hope that this new partnership will help to engrain cycling in children from a young age and create a new pipeline of future cyclists, which consider it to be a very normal way to get from A to B and prompt modal shift across the country.
In addition, we are also keen for this initiative to inspire more families to cycle together, and we are offering free bike safety checks for every child taking part in a Bikeability programme, as well as for their parents, teachers and trainers.