Paul is supported by AFG within a supported living setting on The Wirral. He’s a really independent guy and does voluntary work, without support, on four days every week.
Being a very active person Paul loves to get out and about and recently he talked about having an interest in cycling and described how he used to be a keen cyclist. Over time the staff and Paul talked more about cycling and with those chats eventually developed into them visiting cycle shops to see what type of bikes were available.
The staff at one store thought it would be a good idea to get a bike customised to Paul’s needs.
Eventually, after some careful consideration, Paul picked his bike and even though he was keen to get moving, it had been quite some time since his last ride, so he took things slowly. Learning to ride again was a big step for Paul, so he practiced carefully and built his confidence and fitness on cycle paths and quieter roads. With great support and enough practice it wasn’t long before Paul was back in the swing of things; after all… it was like riding a bike!
Paul and his team got straight to work planning some rides starting with short trips to places like New Brighton and building up to longer outings to further destinations. Of course, planning a ride isn’t just about the route and Paul made sure he thought about what clothes to wear for the weather, places to stop for a break and how much food and drink to take with him.
Throughout the summer Paul’s confidence grew with every mile and each trip took him a little further. The miles have been stacking up and he recently completed a 34 mile ride to Chester – a fantastic achievement. With great advice from Andy, his Support Worker, Paul really loves his cycling and has also learned about looking after his bike, which is particularly important as we head into winter.
Andy Morfett, Paul’s Support Worker said, “Over the weeks and months I’ve been riding with Paul, I’ve noticed a great improvement in his riding ability and his confidence.”
Charlotte Atherton, Team Leader said, “We have seen a real improvement in Paul’s ability and enthusiasm and he is always asking to go further and do more. I hope Paul continues to do well and enjoy his bike rides!”
Paul wanted to share his story, and is a brilliant example of supporting someone to make independent decisions and to achieve a personal goal. But, the story doesn’t end there and next year Paul’s planning on riding even more and hopes to raise money for charity at events such as the Bikeathon.
Well done everyone… Keep pedalling!