This short chapter sets out feedback from two young people (both aged 10) and their parents. Both had received bikes from the same project. The final report will include interviews with many more young people and parents, as well as results from a wider survey of young people, parents and carers, and any further feedback gathered through evaluations of the individual pilot projects.
Views on process
Both young people were very happy to have received a bike and parents were pleased to receive the offer. Both parents appreciated the bike, but noted that they would have purchased a bike for Christmas if this opportunity had not arisen.
Both parents found the process of receiving a bike very straightforward. Each parent reported that they signed a consent form, and then the bike was delivered to their home. Parents were pleased that the process was quick (within a week) and that bikes were delivered at a time which was convenient to them.
“Personally, the experience was quick. From giving my details to him coming to the door with a bike was about one week.” Parent
Both parents indicated that the bikes were good quality and would suit the needs of their children. There was not a choice of style or colour, but parents and young people were happy with their bikes. Originally one parent was concerned that the quality and condition of a free bike may be low, but they were happy with the bike they received.
“I’m just glad she could get a bike because a lot of her friends have one.” Parent
One young person initially received a bike which was too large, so it had to be swapped. The parent felt that conversations about the height of the child in advance would help, to get the size right first time.
One parent had a suitable place to keep the bike in the garage, but another had to ask his daughter to keep the bike in her bedroom. A rain cover for the bike would help this family to store the bike outside in the back yard.
One young person particularly appreciated that the bike was recycled, as she is conscious of reducing environmental waste. The parent was happy that the project took their old bike away to be recycled for other families.
“I really do think the scheme is brilliant.” Parent
Views on impact
The young people used their bikes for cycling and playing with friends and going to the park. One young person said that having a bike helped her to spend more time outside. She uses her bike every night, usually for an hour or so – as she is allowed to be outside while it is daylight. Without the bike, she would have been spending time on her x-box or on her phone.
“The bike is really good. It got me outside.” Young person (10)
Neither of the young people used their bike to cycle to school. One currently walks to school but will cycle when the weather improves in the spring. Another may be allowed to cycle to school by her parents after she completes Bikeability training.
Both parents felt that having a bike helped their children to be active and to spend more time with their friends outdoors. One parent noted that the pandemic had kept children indoors more than usual. She felt her daughter was healthier and able to sleep better, because she was spending more time outside, and less time on devices.
“She’s sleeping better and finding it easier to sleep. And I think she has less interest in the devices.” Parent
Both parents and young people also noted that the bikes would be used more as the weather improves and the days become longer.
“In the summer I would use it 24/7.” Young person (10)
Parents felt that the bikes provided through the pilot would last their children for around one to two years.
In a few cases, project leads and partners also highlighted evidence of some positive outcomes for young people at this early stage.
Example: Outcomes for young leaders
In one project, two young people had been trained as cycle assistants. One young person is now using the bike as his main mode of transport. The project partner reported completing the training had helped the young people feel a sense of achievement, boosting their self esteem.
Example: Culture change
In one school, teachers have been particularly enthused about the opportunity and have used it across the curriculum. For example, teachers have taken classes on educational excursions with the whole class travelling by bike rather than bus. Teachers reported that pupils were using the bikes well, to travel to school and recreationally.
“They’re happier. They’re proud of themselves…I can see a difference already.” Project partner
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