Three-year funding gives cheer to charity hit by arson attack

A South London-based disability cycling charity that suffered an arson attack last October is celebrating after winning a three-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund to enable it to continue to run weekly sessions at Herne Hill’s Brockwell Park and in Croydon.

Wheels for Wellbeing, which also receives funding from the London Cycling Campaign, will receive £330,000 of Lottery funding over the next three years.

Its manager, Janet Paske, said: “Funding cycling for disabled people is funding much more than access to leisure, transport and sport. It means increased mobility and personal safety and getting around without having to deal with the prejudices of others. Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, we know that we can look forward to supporting more disabled people to cycle over the coming years.”

Users of Wheels for Wellbeing’s services are delighted at the news. One, Anna Wright, said:
“I now know that I will be able to continue cycling with the club. Cycling gets me out and exercising. It has made me determined and has given me much more confidence. I’m now planning to buy a tricycle to ride on the road which will make me much more independent.” 

Isabelle Clement, Chair of the charity's trustees, added; “We are very grateful to the funders and other supporters who believed in us from the start 3 years ago - they made it possible for us to be awarded a Big Lottery Fund grant now. This funding comes at a difficult time for many in the voluntary sector so it is particularly welcome. On behalf of all the trustees, staff and our participants, I would like to say a big thank you to the Big Lottery Fund in appreciating the value of what we do. ”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.