Enabling disability cycling
Jim McGurn, CEO of Get Cycling Community Interest Company, talks with great passion about what cycling can bring to those enabled by the organisation’s specially adapted bikes, “People with disabilities need bikes more than anyone else; they need the independent mobility, and it’s good fun, fresh air and it’s exercise.”
Leann Branton volunteers at Get Cycling’s events at nearby Applefields School for young people with disabilities. She says she does it because she loves to see the children smile when they’re behind the handlebars, “Feeling the freedom of the bicycle – there’s nothing like it for these children. Wind in your hair, feeling it in your face, they just absolutely love it.” Leann’s own daughter, Lucy, could not convey this delight more clearly when her mum cycles her round the playground on a bike adapted to fit her wheelchair.
Seven years on from founding the organisation, Jim was finding he couldn’t keep up with the demand for his bikes and cycling events. The business was stagnating, without the capital needed to innovate and grow. It was at this moment that NatWest Social & Community Capital were able to help with access to finance. This capital gave Get Cycling the boost it needed to gain momentum again and become the UK’s biggest enterprise in disability cycling. Jim says of the loan, “It made a huge difference to what we’ve been able to do for people with disabilities all over the country.”