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By GreaterSport | 20 December 2021 | TAGS: Local Pilot, Stories, Manchester

Naz attended the course because she was motivated by the low levels of women and particularly girls cycling in the area where she lives – Cheetham in North Manchester. She was supported to the course with some confidence-building sessions, and was also lent the equipment that she needed. She did really well on the day and passed, impressing everyone with her demonstration of how to fix a puncture which she had learnt in advance!

The Local Pilot has:

  • Invested in capacity – Laurel (the officer) and Angela (her manager) to focus on the development of walking and recreational/utility cycling (rather than cycling as a sport), for health improvement and underrepresented groups, because walking and cycling were highlighted as 2 of the most popular activities that residents wanted to do more of.
  • Changed the conversation with British Cycling and the community
  • Invested in a mosque-based bike library containing 10 bikes which will be lent to women and men in the local community and used for rides led by the newly trained leaders.

 What's different because of the influence of the Local Pilot?

  • The Leaders course was re-developed for those who don’t traditionally cycle which has encouraged less proficient cyclists to do the course. These changes were based in-part on the experiences of 2 women who attended a previous course in Manchester, and did not pass it because of their fitness and ability to cycle on the road, rather than their ability to empower others from their community to get involved in recreational cycling.
  • Bikes and other equipment were lent to those who didn’t have their own but were keen to attend the course, and they will be supported to secure their own.
  • The course was delivered to people from the North Manchester community, rather than previous courses where attendees have generally come from the more affluent South of the city where people are more likely to cycle.
  • Future development of local cycling will be led by those community members attending the course, but supported by Laurel in a flexible way without constraining targets.
  • Laurel has supported British Cycling colleagues to; understand the local community more and the course participants in advance including their level of cycling experience and their aspirations as Ride Leaders, which helped the tutor to tailor the course to their needs.
  • Laurel has also supported the North Manchester community to access this course by; listening to their needs and working with them to support those needs, which is engaging them in the development of walking and cycling in their community.

What's significant in this example?

  • The relationship built between Laurel and British Cycling colleagues based on honesty in working with this community. This has built trust that they would listen to their views, and were committed to change their delivery to meet their needs.
  • The potential influence of this example on future delivery of Ride Leader training which will enable British Cycling to be more inclusive and supportive to those who do not traditionally cycle. In addition, influencing them to consider the suitability of their products more broadly in diverse and underrepresented communities, where support, understanding and learning is required to engage those communities in cycling as a viable activity choice.
  • The ripple effect where Laurel is also enabling a variety of other organisations delivering cycling in the city to better connect to Manchester’s communities, particularly those under-represented in cycling. She is also influencing other organisations who work in that community to become champions of walking and cycling.
  • The support from colleagues in the Winning Hearts and Minds Team to connect this work into their focus communities across Manchester.

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