Over 280 children in the Ledbury area have benefited over the last year from an exciting project co-funded by LACF, Ledbury Town Council, Ledbury Civic Society, Ledbury Rotary, Eastnor Lodge, Tesco and a private donor. Last June, 9 local primary schools each received 7 balance bikes (no pedals) and helmets, a tool kit and a pump.
Used during free play and timetabled skill sessions throughout the year, as well as cycling skills the balance bikes help with the development of risk management, responsibility, sharing, independence and resilience.
They encourage outdoor play and regular exercise, and staff note that naturally cautious children gain confidence as they learn balance bike skills. This confidence then transfers to many other activities such as trying unfamiliar food at lunch, early reading and team activities.
Schools with space are getting more balance bikes and also follow-on pedal bikes, to further develop the children’s skills and maintain their enthusiasm for outdoor play.
Older children, seeing the younger ones on their balance bikes in the playground, have been inspired to cycle or scoot to school.
One teacher has said the scheme was ‘more beneficial than I could ever have imagined’.