Adults with autism get on their bikes
14 September 2015
Adult Autism Advice has recently been helping autistic adults from Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to get on their bikes with the help of Pedal Power.
Pedal Power encourages and enables children and adults of all ages and abilities to experience the benefits of cycling. Their project, Changing Gear, is a lottery funded project which aims to work with groups of people who would not normally be able to access cycling to achieve the health and wellbeing goals that matter to them. This is done through free cycle taster sessions, bespoke health and wellbeing courses and free membership to Pedal Power.
Adult Autism Advice runs across Cardiff and the Vale providing low level support and information to adults on the autism spectrum. Adults with autism can often feel socially isolated and struggle to get out and about. With the help of Adult Autism Advice adults have become confident in using public transport to get to Cardiff to take part in Changing Gear. The project itself is run by Cardiff based charity Pedal Power.
One of the participants said: “Changing Gear gets me out of the house and doing something for myself. It's helped me with my mental health as I have been socialising and exercising and I've felt better in myself for taking part.”
For some of the adults concerned this is their first time on bikes in years and they are already reporting feeling fitter and sleeping better. Some are even taking part in a sponsored ride from Merthyr to Cardiff in September.
Keith Ingram, Autism Lead Officer for Cardiff and the Vale and Autism Employment Ambassador for Wales said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all those involved. Transport is a big issue for adults with disability. It opens up so many options for both leisure and employment. We are all being encouraged to be healthier and take greener travel options. It’s sometimes not so easy but this project has opened the door. Well done Adult Autism Advice and Pedal Power.”
The course will run for a total of 15 weekly sessions. More information about the scheme can be found at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/autism.