Thanks to donations from York’s generous community, disability charity United Response managed to raise an incredible £4,000 to buy an adapted bike for the people they support.

United Response is a national charity which supports people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health needs to live the lives they choose.

Since discovering the benefits of cycling, for both health and social well-being, United Response staff in York have been fundraising tirelessly to buy an adapted tandem bike for the people they support.

Thanks to generous donations from people in the community and a range of organisations, their dream has finally come true and they are now the happy owners of a brand new Roam TwinBike.

The new bike has helped to significantly improve the quality of life of people supported by United Response in York. As well as the health benefits from being able to cycle regularly, it has also made people feel a greater connection with their community and become more confident in social situations.

Diana, who has autism, is assisted by her support workers to use the adapted tandem bike and has found that cycling has changed her life. She cannot use an ordinary two-wheeled bike because she would be unable to balance. The adapted tandem bike allows her to cycle at ease alongside her support worker.

Diana having a picnic and cycling with JaniceDiana enjoying a picnic break (left), Janice and Diana cycling together (right)

Cycling has improved Diana’s fitness and brought her great happiness.

Diana is not naturally chatty, but when she is out on the bike, she will often stop to talk to people about cycling.

Janice, one of Diana’s support workers who cycles with her, said:

“As long as I have known Diana, her autism has caused her to be introspective. However, since being able to get out on the new bike, she has taken much more interest in what’s going on around her and in other people.”

United Response would like to say a huge thank you to all the individuals in the community whose donations made buying the bike possible.

The charity would also like to say a special thanks to Diamond’s Beauty and Spa, Sainsburys, the Jorvic Viking Centre, The Deep, York Dungeons, Reel Cinemas, Morrisons, Acomb, Black Tides Tattoo, Sundeck, Varney Photographers, Rob Cook Photographers and McDonald’s for kindly donating prizes to its fundraising activities.

Finally, a big thank you to the Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Charitable Trust, Patricia and Donald Shepherd Trust and the Harapan Trust for their generous donations and Get Cycling for their support and advice.