Connecting communities with cycling grants

Three Enfield community groups have been awarded £25,000 from Transport for London to encourage people from different backgrounds to take up cycling.

Enfield Council will offer the groups ongoing help and support to ensure the schemes are successful.

The Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Ian Barnes, said: “These grants are a wonderful opportunity for under-represented groups to take up cycling. Enfield Council is here to support anyone who wants to get active and in turn, we will make Enfield a more sustainable, inclusive and healthier place to live in with cleaner air and less congested roads.

"For those wanting to make short journeys across Enfield, the cycle lane network provides an efficient and easy way to travel, particularly for those who may be new to cycling."

The British Alevi Federation working together with London Cycling Club (Londra Bisiklet Kulubu) will run a project for Turkish and Kurdish speakers. It aims to provide cycle training and free bike hire for its members. The club will also organise events and weekly group rides.

The Enfield Children and Young Persons’ Services (ECYPS) is expanding its focus on women’s physical health and wellbeing by offering group cycling sessions to help build confidence and reduce social isolation, with a focus on women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

A spokesperson for the Muslim Community and Education Community Centre at Palmers Green Mosque confirmed they are aiming to replicate the Walthamstow-based Muslim women cycle group, Cycle Sisters. Their aim is to initially teach more Muslim Women to ride, leading to bi-weekly social rides.

“We want our cycling club to be a social event as well as providing a great form of exercise. In time, our new members will have the confidence to ride on the road by cycling as part of a group,” they said.

A spokesperson from ECYPS said: “We want to ensure cycling is inclusive and accessible for everyone regardless of their financial background. There is a huge gap between people who have a healthier lifestyle and those who cannot afford to access activities in the borough. We want to bridge that gap by providing affordable activities.” In a survey of 70 women who currently access the organisation’s swimming, Pilates and Zumba sessions, 70% expressed an interest in learning to ride bikes.

Ozgur Korkmaz chairperson of the London Cycling Club wants to encourage the Turkish speaking community to cycle and improve their mental and physical health. He said: “We're here to help build stronger communities, connecting people living in London. We want to provide a safe and friendly environment for cycling and promote a healthy and active lifestyle through cycling and walking.”

Ozgur, who cycled from London to Istanbul in the summer of 2018 is keen to break down the barriers to cycling, particularly for minority groups. Watch a short video about the group’s aims.

Enfield Council has established a cycling network, funded by TFL and a number of initiatives including an extensive education programme, health and wellbeing programmes and school engagement activities. To find out more sign up to the Cycle Enfield newsletters. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants 80% of journeys in London to be by public transport, walking or cycling by 2041.

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