New opportunities for young scots

A project helping young people with additional needs develop confidence in cycling, is one of 23 sharing in the latest grants worth £1.1 million from our Young Start Fund.

Free Wheel North, based in Glasgow, has secured £50,000 to continue delivering their Special Needs Cycling sessions for an additional two years.

Gary Graham 3Gary Graham, 19, who has moderate learning difficulties, attends a weekly 2 hour cycling session with Free Wheel North as part of his course at Glasgow Kelvin College.

He said: “It has only taken me three months to cycle on a two wheeler bike. I’ve always wanted to achieve this, I feel amazing. My teacher has been a big help in boosting my confidence. Everyone in the class is aiming to cycle from Glasgow Green to Loch Lomond when the course ends in May. It will be a huge achievement for me.”

The project has not only helped Gary develop confidence in cycling, but it has also impacted on his positive attitude towards life. After college Gary hopes to get a job teaching young people how to cycle.

Colin Scott, Lecturer at Glasgow Kelvin Gary Graham 4College recognises the change in Gary over the past few months since taking part in cycling sessions at Free Wheel North: “Gary has really taken to cycling, he interacts a lot more with people and he always has a smile on his face.  Gary has now started acting as the Ride Leader for the group and is growing in confidence with every visit to Free Wheel North. ”

Norman Armstrong, the Project Manager of Free Wheel North added: This Young Start grant will help us continue a project that has surpassed all our expectations. We started in a modest way a couple of years ago with a handful of special needs bikes engaging with a small number of disability organisations. Now almost every special needs group and school in Glasgow comes to enjoy cycling. The youngsters always vote to cycle over and above any other activity. This new award ensures our future for at least two more years and we will bring health and fun to thousands in that time.”


gary graham 6

Check out the full list of Young Start projects receiving funding today.


Interested in applying? All the information is available on the Young Start webpage.


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