Cycling for the Disabled
A story by Watermill Foundation Ltd (Highland Cycle Ability Centre)
Under lockdown all activities had to stop. In November 2020 and December 2020 were we able to open for limited activities, which were stopped by second lockdown. In brief period of being open we had 76 users and 72 carers. No Outreach visits were allowed under COVID rules.
What Cycling for the Disabled did
The young disabled and their carers were able during the limited period in which we were able to operate to participate in activities on the cycle track at Watermill Foundation, giving enjoyment and relief to users and carers, alike. Other works achieved were refurbishing of maintenance workshop, overhaul of special cycles, and purchase of additional cycles. We were able to give limited respite to carers, when allowed. The notable success was giving freedom and activities to disabled young people and their carers, during the breaks in lockdown legislation.
What Watermill Foundation Ltd (Highland Cycle Ability Centre) has learned
We achieved all items listed above,despite COVID restrictions, which in itself produced many challenges.
How Watermill Foundation Ltd (Highland Cycle Ability Centre) has benefitted from the funding
Without Better Breaks funding the challenges could well have been insuperable. The support given during this very challenging period was invaluable.
The constraints of lockdown curtailed our outcomes to a considerable degree. However, during the limited operation period allowed, those able to participate had fun, enjoyed the outdoor activities available, met their friends at a distance, and had a very welcome outing and break from usual routines
Sadly, very limited, so numbers very depleted. However those that did come achieved all that we had expected, and more. We understand from the carers that those suffering from mental health problems and anxiety, the use of the cycles and the track helped to alleviate these problems, both for carers and those they look after.
The carers of A young man, (A), who suffers from regular seizures, stated that the number of these seizures reduced every time he was able to cycle on the track during the non-lockdown period. This benefited the whole family.
All users and carers stated how much all enjoyed the limited time we were able to allow, and, within this limited time, was very successful in achieving success.
Sadly the outcomes had to be curtailed by COVID restrictions.
User W suffers from multiple disabilities. Mother noted specifically that after use of track, W was more relaxed, slept better, and was easier to handle. This made a world of difference to family life.
Yes, but very limited due to COVID.
Hopefully back to full operation, giving the sort of level of relief to carers anticipated, and achievable. Also the restarting of the Outreach programme, bringing this to outlying and remote areas. as before lockdown and COVID restrictions.
Additional project outcome
Despite COVID problems, were able to maintain full staff complement,and undertake all work allowed.
Additional project outcome