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Independent mobility offered by new project launched today.
The Minister joined representatives from national cycling charity CTC and FABB Scotland, a national youth organisation for disabled young people, to mark the start of the Edinburgh ABC (All-ability Bike Centre) which has received £50,000 of Scottish Government funding.
Building on the success of the 'Blazing Saddles' cycling project for people with disabilities, Edinburgh ABC sees FABB Scotland and CTC teaming up to deliver an inclusive programme of cycling activities to give people their first taste of independent mobility.
Mr Mackay said
"The Edinburgh All-Ability Bike Centre (ABC) project is important in giving people of all ages and abilities the opportunity and the confidence to try cycling – some for the first time – and at the same time overcome personal disabilities and barriers.
"Encouraging as many new people as possible to take up cycling is a key in moving forward if we are to meet our shared vision for cycling. That is why this Scottish Government are delighted to continue funding behaviour change projects such as The Edinburgh ABC project to help cut carbon emissions while getting the nation fitter and healthier."
The project will be fully equipped with a range of adaptive bikes and an expert team (comprising City of Edinburgh Council, CTC and FABB Scotland staff) to support, guide and advise participants to build their confidence in the saddle.
Based at Bangholm Outdoor Centre, Edinburgh ABC will reach out to organisations and communities to encourage target groups to take part in cycling. The project aims to benefit children and young people with disabilities, older people who haven't cycled for a long time and people who have never cycled before.
Suzanne Forup, CTC's Assistant Head of Development said
'CTC is delighted to establish Edinburgh ABC with the support of our colleagues at Blazing Saddles. Cycling can be accessible to everyone given the right support and conditions. This project will enable many more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling, from becoming more physically active to meeting new people or just getting out to enjoy an ice-cream after a bike ride!'
Jan Brereton, Blazing Saddles' Project Development Officer, said
"All Ability Cycling is innovative, inspirational and inclusive. With the right equipment, cycling caters for all ages and abilities and FABB Scotland is pleased to have been given the opportunity to work with CTC to enhance cycling services in Edinburgh to increase the number of people cycling with family and friends in their local community."
How can you get involved?
Edinburgh ABC is recruiting volunteers to help with offering buddy support to participants and is on the lookout for organisations who want to take up staff training for leading all ability cycling group rides. The team is also keen to hear from people who would like to take part in the rides themselves.
David Glover, Edinburgh ABC Development Officer
Phone: 07500 069357
CTC the national cycling charity
CTC is the UK's largest cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling you do or would like to do.
Over a century's experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.
- We provide expert, practical help and advice.
- We support individuals and communities.
- We protect cyclists' interests.
- We campaign to make cycling mainstream and to remove the things that stop people cycling.
- We help people develop the confidence and skills to cycle.
- We promote the benefits of cycling to individuals, to society and to the economy.
Blazing Saddles is FABB Scotland's mobile all ability cycling resource and has been the catalyst to developing a minimum of 12 cycling hubs across Scotland by the end of March 2017. It is supported by all national cycling organisations and Scottish Disability Sport.
FABB Scotland is a small charity whose primary aim is to facilitate access and break barriers which promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities taking part in mainstream activities with family and friends.
For more information about the Blazing Saddles project and FABB Scotland's work please contact:
Blazing Saddles Project Development Officer
FABB Scotland's All Ability Mobile Cycling Services
Tel: 0131 475 2313; Mobile: 07970 003 297 or email: email@example.com
Visit our website: www.fabb.org.uk