Cumbernauld Family Hub and Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub have teamed up with Wee Cycle Cumbernauld to identify underprivileged families in the Greater Cumbernauld area who would benefit from a free bike for their child this Christmas.
Santa Bikes is an exciting initiative which will see 20 recycled bicycles together with crash helmets gifted to children up to the age of 12 across Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Northern Corridor in time for Christmas 2021. It is being coordinated by local community interest company Wee Cycle Cumbernauld and is funded by Cornerstone House Centre’s Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) programme.
This week, expressions of interest are being invited from local parents and guardians who wish to receive one of the bikes during December. 18To request a bike, please email email@example.com with the name, age and gender of the child that the bike would be gifted to and a one or two sentence summary (no more than this) detailing how receiving the bike would be beneficial to your family. The closing date for submissions is 12.00noon on Monday 6 December 2021.
A decision on which families the bikes are awarded to will be made in early December, taking into consideration the level of need of the parents and children involved. You are permitted to request a bike for more than one child, however if more than 20 requests are received then each family will only be offered one bike. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, said:
“We recognise that a high number of individuals and families in Greater Cumbernauld are still facing a range of mental, physical and financial challenges because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Hence, Cornerstone House Centre is thrilled to be supporting Wee Cycle Cumbernauld in helping local families with their caring, compassionate and admirable Santa Bikes venture this Christmas.
“Importantly, this will benefit Cumbernauld children and families affected by unemployment, deprivation and health issues, whilst alleviating the financial and social pressures of Christmas on parents and promoting healthy lifestyles.
“The bikes are being constructed from recycled materials, making excellent use of a £500 community grant awarded to Wee Cycle Cumbernauld by Cumbernauld CAN in August 2021.
“Families who wish to benefit from this outstanding opportunity must act quickly though not to be disappointed, with a closing date of this coming Monday for submissions.”
This welcome enterprise is an innovation of Wee Cycle Cumbernauld, a newly formed organisation which promotes cycling in all its forms across Cumbernauld, encouraging cycling for health, fitness and active transport. The group undertakes bicycle repairs, teaches bicycle maintenance and works with local families to help them keep cycling. The founder of the organisation, Phil Jones, is an experienced motorbike mechanic and a cycle trainer.
Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is an active promoter of the benefits of cycling for local residents and families. Cycling offers multiple advantages for both the individual cyclist and wider communities, including physical health benefits, mental health benefits, environmental benefits and keeping people’s transport costs down.
According to NHS Scotland, children aged 5 to 18 should get a minimum 60 minutes of physical activity a week, but a British Heart Foundation Physical Inactivity Report found that much of the young population fail to undertake this.
Physical activity can increase a child’s mental alertness, energy, positive mood and self-esteem, as well as reducing stress and anxiety, according to the Mental Health Foundation. One way to make sure your child exercises enough is to get them riding a bike on a regular basis.
Greater Cumbernauld has many green spaces in which children can enjoy cycling for fun, health and exercise, including Palacerigg Country Park, Cumbernauld House Park, Cumbernauld Community Park and Colzium House and Estate, to name just a few.
The local area also benefits from having a network of dedicated cycle paths which make it ideal for cycling to be undertaken. Indeed, those living in Carbrain, Chryston, Croy, Dullatur, Glenboig, Kildrum, Kilsyth, Lenziemill and Moodiesburn all have access to excellent cycling routes.
Furthermore, earlier this year Wee Cycle Cumbernauld announced exciting plans to bring a new cycling circuit to Palacerigg Country Park. Cycling routes in Greater Cumbernauld which are part of The National Cycle Network in Scotland can be searched for by clicking here.
More information about Wee Cycle Cumbernauld and this year’s Santa Bikes initiative can be obtained by emailing Phil Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.