About The Project
We have purchase 7 Electric Mountain Bikes with funding from the Peoples Health Lottery and ????? The aim of the project is to encourage older people to stay fit and active. It will grow a sense of community, developing friendships including supporting those who are lonely or isolated, providing a common interest where friendships will grow and develop. Health and well being will be improved as cycling is a low-impact, aerobic exercise that most people are able to engage in. The project will not set unrealistic targets; to begin with, just ride a bike, even if it’s for only 10 or 15 minutes at a time building up endurance and fitness over a period of time. The initiative will also act as the catalyst for people to further engage with each other developing common interests and hobbies. People who use the project will be from the upper Cynon Valley.
Why the Project?
Hirwaun YMCA is currently being developed into a community hub, and we are aware there is a gap in our provision regarding opportunities for older people, highlighted through a recent community questionnaire. The project originated from a discussion with Men's Shed's another voluntary group that supports older men/women in our community who currently have free workshop space at the YMCA. It is understood that not all older people liked a workshop environment and many would like to do activities that promoted keeping fit, socialising and being active. A discussion ensued and through a brainstorming exercise with 20 members the ebike project idea was born.
The Project will be run by volunteers. They will meet on a monthly basis to discuss the project, ensuring it remains on track and is being promoted to local people who will be encouraged to take part. New volunteers will be encouraged to join the management of the scheme. Meetings will include Hirwaun YMCA Youth and Community Worker who will support them in further developing the project whilst ensuring health and safety, risk assessments and insurances are in place. It will be their role to feedback to the organisations Board of Management for issues to be addressed and actioned.
The initiative will be a great way to involve a wide spectrum of older people in a project that develops positive links across the community, providing an open, inclusive community resource which can accommodate every level of ability. Open sessions will give local people tasters, as being familiar with the project will lead to them more likely to get involved. We will work with other community groups to advertise the initiative promoting, the project widely including to those people who are isolated and alone. We wish to promote a culture where health and well being is valued and seen as an important element of people’s lives. The Project will be advertised through our well established networks consisting of statutory and voluntary organisations. We will actively seek referral’s from these networks to promote a Project that offers equal opportunities for all those wishing to take part. This project will result in new volunteers, improve community resilience, mean more active, happier, healthier people and raise our profile as a Community Hub where further activities and services can be accessed or developed by local people.