Bike It Ben has been coming to our school since 2009 and he loves working here every Wednesday. Each week , every child has the opportunity to ride bikes, or or learn how to fix or build bikes. We have our own fleet of bikes, which Ben helped to access the funding for, and the children are very much involved in keeping these bikes maintained. Ben runs a project for Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity alongside Public Health in Brighton & Hove City Council.
The project uses the five ways to well-being: connect with other people, be physically active, learn new skills, give to others, pay attention to the moment (mindfulness). The sessions Ben runs are flexible and tailored towards the needs of the child. We often do one-to-one or small group work, and sessions have included biking to Forest School, building bikes for ourselves, and our families, fixing bikes for refugees, learning to ride a bike for the first time, tricks and mountain biking/BMX skills. We have even had lessons run entirely by pupils on how to fix bikes, teaching adults in the playground some really valuable skills. Ben always tries to work with our school to help with integration back into mainstream school, and also often works with children and young people throughout their whole school career from reception to 6th form and beyond.
Since starting the project with the school, every single child, 100% have left the school being able to ride a bike. We also try to ensure that every child has access to a bike at home, an important part of the project is ensuring that the children and families all have bikes, which work, so that they can continue to have fun on bikes in their own time. Something as simple as a bike can create fun, healthy experiences at school, This improves both mental and physical health, raises self-esteem, and confidence in every day life, and can be a powerful tool in engaging children and young people in learning