The wheels are in motion for volunteer Ste
Ste, who is supported in AFG Kirkby, was recently looking to find a volunteer opportunity within his community. Ste has many interests but wanted to volunteer doing something practical. Ste’s support team referred him to a project called LEAF (Learn, Engage, Achieve, Future); a new partnership between AFG and Mencap Liverpool to create volunteering opportunities for staff and the people we support.
After a couple of meetings, Ste decided mechanics and helping others would suit what he was looking for. Hailey Wood, the LEAF Project Coordinator at Mencap Liverpool, looked at volunteering opportunities at Wheels For All, part of the Cycling Project charity in Halewood.
The charity Cycling Projects set up the Wheels For All initiative back in 1991. The project is about making cycling accessible to all. They have a vast range of adapted bikes available as they believe it’s possible for anyone to benefit from the joys of cycling, regardless of ability.
Kevin McCann, from Halewood Wheels For All, explained why volunteers are so important to the charity:
“Volunteers are at the core of the charity, without them we wouldn’t exist. We rely massively as a charity on volunteers to help us with the smooth running of all our Wheels For All sessions. We find that the passion and energy volunteers can contribute to sessions really helps engage clients, build strong relationships, and keep people coming back week after week.”
Kevin said: “Ste has been a breath of fresh air for our Wheels For All sessions in Halewood. His enthusiasm really rubs off on everyone around him, from the distance he travels, to the hard work he puts in when he’s here; he’s become a valuable member of the team.”
Kevin went on the describe a typical day for Ste.
“Ste likes to arrive early to the session, even though it can take him in excess of an hour to get here! He helps us open up the cycle storage hub, and begin the process of getting all the cycles out on display in the park. He then checks they’re ready and safe to use, pumping up tyres and checking brakes. After this we’re usually ready for our first groups to start arriving, and when they do Ste is on hand to assist clients onto their chosen cycles, provide them with helmets, and set them on their way! Once people return from their ride, Ste helps them off their cycles and bids them farewell! After 3 hours of hard work, Ste then helps the team pack the cycles away and lock the centre up, before his journey home.
“Being such an enthusiastic volunteer, we’re hoping to find some extra days and venues that Ste can potentially attend in the near future. Every centre could benefit from their ‘own’ Ste!”
Hailey Wood, LEAF Project Co-ordinator said: “Ste has something positive to look forward to on a Friday and is already looking for more days to volunteer. I am very pleased that Ste wants to continue as a volunteer as it is having a really positive impact on his life, right down to planning his money so that he can organise his travel.”
Ste agreed: “I truly like working here and it makes me happy seeing other people who come to ride the bikes happy. I would love to do more things like this in Kirkby”.
Sessions at Halewood Wheels for All are available on a Friday 10am–2pm.
If you would like to get involved in The LEAF Project and volunteer in your community please contact Hailey on
T: 0151 707 8582 | M: 07914 716 322 | or follow Hailey on Twitter at www.twitter.com/haileyrwood