Pedal Power – Engagement Pilot Project
Our one-month engagement project focused on building from existing relationships with organisations and engaging new in the service offered by Pedal Power. Coupled with this the existing high demand for our cycle training we were looking to hopefully home grow a new cycling officer from our existing team to work as part of upcoming summer projects. The project would also fund national standards training so the new staff member had a high-quality skill set available to work as
part of our cycling department. The approach was new to us and came from a shortage of skilled instructor roles locally and our belief that cycling instructors should also be excellent people persons who are able to engage with as well as instruct.
We started swiftly recruiting for the new position and one of our receptionists was successful in taking on the new role. The role began with engaging new organisations to take part in free taster cycling sessions, whilst also training and learning alongside our team to build the skillset required to deliver cycling training. Our new officer worked quickly to engage with organisations we hoped to work closely with and went further reaching out to new organisations, some previously unknow or unconnected with our service.
The offer of taster sessions and now regular sessions to organisations such MS Society, Cathays Community Centre and Sight Life were very popular. We provided groups and space to meet with refreshments in our café and talk about the options we have for cycling at Pedal Power. Then on to the cycling they were able to try out a selection of our cycles on a park ride and for organisations looking to set up regular groups we gave an overview of our procedures, membership and gave their staff the opportunity to try a large variety of our cycles in order to return and start bringing together future participants with a good knowledge of our service.
Despite the project now being complete we have committed with these groups to continuing the offer of free taster sessions who are all now rebooked for May where they can now meet with our new cycling officer, thanks to project.
April has been busy for our new member of staff as they spent time training in Bristol with Life Cycle to be able to deliver National Standards and Bikeability cycle training. Training now complete they have the next year to deliver 72hrs of training in order to become fully trained, which they can do whilst working at Pedal Power.
Our intention was always for this new role to support on upcoming future projects, however with a stroke of good luck Pedal Power has received some funding meaning we are able to offer this new person a 3 year contract, support their further training and enabling them to continue working with the groups they so successfully engaged with through this project.
We are extremely pleased with these outcomes and the obvious benefit to Pedal Power and also to successfully provide long term employment in a sought-after role. National Standards Training and Bikeability is offered across the UK and is a standard which any registered trainer can deliver across Britain, with a shortage of instructors in Wales we are extremely pleased to have one more.
Without this funding this fantastic outcome would not have been possible. We have been able to support existing groups and now have a new member of staff able to work with new and returning cyclists of all abilities as well as working to support our volunteers and members.
We have had new organisations visiting to take part in taster sessions with great success.
Sight Life members and volunteers have returned to ride this year at Pedal Power and now have a dedicated member of staff supporting them every Tuesday thanks to this role.
Both Cathays Community Centre and SVC (Skills and Volunteering Cymru) have joined as members of Pedal Power and are now setting up groups for regular cycling sessions for their users this spring.
With additional capacity we have also been able to offer some individuals tasters who not directly linked to an organisation were able to try with our new officer a variety of cycles and begin taking part in rides and sessions.
Without this role these groups and individuals would not have been able to enjoy free cycling tasters, have a point of contact for support and guidance at Pedal Power, not been able to facilitate new group rides and sessions because we were previously at capacity for cycle leaders and also have an extra pair of hands for cycle training sessions as part of our 50+ returning to cycling and learning to cycle sessions amongst others. This role will go on to work with hundreds of individuals and groups each year, provide cycle training for all abilities with their new role at Pedal Power. We have additional capacity to take on new workloads and sessions and continue engaging with new organisations.
A success story, our new cycling officer completed their National Standards Instructor training on Wednesday 26 th April and now needs to evidence their new skills by delivering 72hrs of training alongside an already qualified instructor. Today, Thursday 27 th April our new instructor began training alongside another member of our staff at Trinity Fields School providing cycling to disabled children as part of four day long sessions across May and June. This kind of work is difficult or impossible to deliver without trained staff members and the benefits can already be seen.
A measure of the project success every participant was asked after completing a taster session to provide feedback, we were pleased that most participants responded to our project evaluation form. We have been extremely pleased with the feedback, and below are some of the responses and data we collected.
Overall we listed and contacted 50 organisations and received positive responses from 19 of these. We know from experience that it often takes time to build relationships and were extremely pleased of the responses and amount of engagement our new officer managed to fit into 5 weeks. We are confident this small project will have started the ball rolling with many more organisations as the year goes on and the links made begin to see Pedal Power as a place for summer activities.
Overall we met with 9 organisations, running 12 taster sessions and engaging with 58 new people. Very slightly below our target however we have sessions rebooked which will take us over both targets once completed in May.
Feedback from taster sessions
“Really enjoyable and the support to access the routes and help participants to feel engaged was invaluable.”
“…It inspired me to support the participants to enjoy the ride”
“Excellent. I work with wellbeing services, and it covered all the 5 ways to the wellbeing NHS model: Physical activity, Social Interacting, Mindfulness, Learning something new, and giving to others.”
“… This session gave me a wonderful feeling and I feel more energetic, connected and confident.”
“A new experience in lovely surroundings. Steven helped improve my confidence.”
“Great range of bikes for all activities. Helpful and informative staff.”
“Awesome fun! I rode a pavement bike. What an experience. I felt totally invigorated after the ride.”
“I found the cycle ride really interesting and helpful. It made me really happy. It improved my mood and helped me take in my surroundings because it is based in a park.”
“Nice to be out in nature.”