A programme that will provide free bikes and equipment to hundreds of children from across Birmingham has been launched by HSBC UK and British Cycling, alongside The Active Wellbeing Society.
The 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. The Big Birmingham Bikes programme is being rolled out to children aged 15 or under. A Bikeability session will be running for pupils and recipients of the first tranche of bikes being given out.
The scheme, which is funded by HSBC UK and British Cycling, is delivered by The Active Wellbeing Society and will provide children with a bike, helmet and a pump.
Shanaze Reade, Olympian and cycling world champion and West Midlands cycling and walking ambassador, said: “Initiatives like this are fundamental to ensuring that children – regardless of who they are or where they come from – are given the opportunity to learn how to cycle. It’s easy to forget that a lot of kids simply don’t have access to a bike and schemes like this help to break down these barriers and ensure that cycling is something that can be enjoyed by all, no matter what your background.
“There are so many benefits to riding a bike – from physical and mental health to the environment – and by providing hundreds of free bikes and equipment to children across the city, HSBC UK and British Cycling are contributing towards a healthier, fitter and greener nation which is something that should be applauded.”
Luke Harper, HSBC UK’s head of the British Cycling partnership, said: “Our partnership with British Cycling is particularly focused on grassroots participation, encouraging and supporting communities, colleagues and customers to get onto two wheels, contributing to a greener, fitter, healthier Britain. This fantastic scheme that will make a real difference to youngsters in disadvantaged communities in Birmingham who might not have the opportunity to own a bike of their own.”
Bike Banks will be free to use for anyone aged 15 and under with parent or guardian’s consent.