Jessica, a woman, on a green recumbent tricycle holding a sign saying "15 laps"

Accessible cycling charity celebrates a year in Kingston with plans to buy more cycles

An accessible cycling charity has celebrated a year in Kingston with plans to buy two new tricycles to meet demand.

Wheels for All is an inclusive cycling charity with centres across the UK, providing disabled people an opportunity to cycle on specially adapted cycles.

They set up a centre in Kingston in August 2022, which formally opened in October of that year, and have become so popular that they are now fundraising for two additional tricycles to meet demand.

Centre coordinator Simon Denton said: “It is the funding that makes it happen, but also the volunteers.

“They are the lifeblood of what we do.”

They have ten volunteers and over 50 riders aged between 13 and 82 who come to the sessions, at which carers can join for free.

There are about 20 adapted cycles for participants to use including hand cycles, recumbent tricycles and adapted cycles which can carry a wheelchair on the front.

Denton explained that because of demand at busier sessions, riders often have to wait to use the cycles they need, leading him to launch a fundraiser to buy two additional recumbent tricycles.

An athletics track with a range of adapted bikes and tricycles on display
WHEEL RANGE: Wheels for All Kingston have 20 adaptive cycles for attendees to use

One regular attendee Jessica Smith, 27, completed a sponsored ride of 15 laps of the 400m track, on the recumbent tricycle to raise money towards the fundraiser.

She usually completes seven or eight laps in a session, and the most she has completed until this point is 10 laps.

Joined by her parents, she completed the 15 laps within an hour, marking each lap with a homemade lap counter and cheers from the volunteers.

Jessica’s mother, Susan Smith, explained that Jessica, who has autism, has joined two sessions a week at the centre since January.

After her first ride, she told her mum: “I am all happy inside.”

Susan explained that Wheels for All gives Jessica the opportunity to exercise safely on the track as she would not be able to cycle on the road.

She added: “It is their opportunity to almost be free in a way.”

Susan estimated that through her sponsorship, Jessica had raised around £400 towards the £3000 fundraiser.

Jessica, a woman, completing her fifteenth lap on a recumbent tricycle.
CROSSING THE FINISH LINE: Jessica completes her final lap of her sponsored range

The Kingston centre runs sessions on a Monday and Wednesday for schools, colleges, day centres, and individuals to attend.

All the sessions are held on a 400m track at the Weir Archer Athletics and Fitness Club, providing a safe space for participants to ride.

You can donate to the fundraiser here and join as a volunteer here.

Related Articles