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Published: 15th DECEMBER 2023

Improving the wellbeing of young people as an I Bike volunteer: Your stories

In the last school year alone, the I Bike programme delivered approximately 1,600 activities to 17,000 pupils across Scotland. In this blog, we speak to the volunteers who help make this possible.

A woman leading a cycling session and a teenage girl on a bike

Our I Bike schools project gives children in Scotland the skills they need to travel actively, safely and confidently to school. Credit: Andy Catlin

The I Bike programme is on a mission to increase the number of pupils cycling to school, and in their own time, while recognising and supporting their different needs.

In the last school year alone, we delivered approximately 1,600 activities to 17,000 pupils across 158 schools in Scotland.

We simply couldn’t achieve this without our volunteers.

Our I Bike volunteers have supported the delivery of nearly 650 skills and training activities over the last two years.

Positive impact

Over the previous academic year alone, our volunteers have supported colleagues with:

  • helping to fix 365 children’s bikes as part of
  • led rides for 958 children
  • learn to ride sessions for 388 pupils.

These sessions have had a huge, positive impact - the number of pupils walking, wheeling, cycling or scootering to I Bike schools was 8.4% higher than the Hands Up Scotland Surveynational average.

By teaching children and young people how to cycle or scoot, I Bike volunteers help to improve their wellbeing while gaining a fun and rewarding experience in return.

Here we learn more about them and why they choose to volunteer with I Bike.

Carmen became an I Bike volunteer to help young people feel safe while navigating traffic. Credit: Anna Whealing/ߣߣƵ

Carmen, Edinburgh

"I've noticed that traffic and roads are one of the main reasons why people do not commute by cycle.

"That's when I discovered the I Bike Project and thought it would be great to help people to cycle safe and feel confident in all levels of environment from a young age so they could also use their bikes as their own transport.

"One of my highlights so far is the Bikeability level 2 sessions, where it's the young peoples' first time cycling on the actual road.

"If you've just started volunteering with I Bike, I recommend you all the different training courses we have access to, as well as trying all the different activities and sessions you can.

"Right now, I'm even learning about bike mechanic and maintenance and I can get to practice my new skills during the Dr Bike sessions."

Michael wants to share his passion for cycling with the next generation. Credit: Michael Buchan

Michael, West Lothian

"Cycling has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.

"I've been involved with young people in schools, and as a football coach, for almost 20 years and enjoy working with young people.

"Having recently retired, I jumped at the chance to become a volunteer and share my experiences and love of cycling to hopefully encourage the next generation to get as much enjoyment from cycling as I have."

Suman, Edinburgh

"Giving back to society is something I passionately believe in, and I consider myself fortunate to be associated with ߣߣƵ because I can personally tie my beliefs to cycling to preserve our planet, and it is our moral responsibility to raise our children for a life of wellness and enjoyment.

"Fortunately, I'm gaining cycle maintenance skills and repairing abilities by volunteering with the support of humble and kind ߣߣƵ volunteering coordinators in Edinburgh."

Willie wants to show other parents how they can get involved too. Credit: Willie

Willie, Musselburgh

"My master plan, apart from helping children to ride safely, is to try show other parents how they can get involved too.

"Hopefully leading by example will motivate some to do the same."

More about I Bike

The I Bike programme, which is funded by Scottish Government and delivered by ߣߣƵ in partnership with local authorities, empowers children, parents and teachers to travel actively, safely and confidently to school.

The project encourages exercise and reduces traffic congestion, resulting in safer, happier and healthier communities.

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