A community group has been given more than £13,000 to support young people to get on their bikes in Dundee.
Yusuf Youth Initiative was granted the money from the Cycling Friendly Community, a programme funded by Transport Scotland in partnership with Cycling Scotland.
The group have been able to purchase bikes, cycling equipment, and bike storage facilities to teach more Dundee-based kids and adults to cycle and learn how to maintain their bikes.
The youth group first introduced cycling in 2016, providing national cycle training programme Bikeability to the kids.
As the young people started to develop their skills and confidence in riding a bike, the joy of cycling spread wider as family members started to dig old bikes out of their garden sheds to join their children on bike rides.
Isa Mallick, project manager with Yusuf Youth Initiative, spoke about some of the young people the programme has helped.
She said: “Rayan was seven-years-old when she first engaged with us.
“After trying cycling once she got off the bike and wouldn’t get back on, and she wouldn’t come back to the classes.
“After talking to her family, we managed to get her back to the next beginner session.
“It took a few sessions, but we got her cycling. To see her smiling and confident was just fantastic, when previously she had been scared and tearful.
“Rayan would say she’d been looking forward to the session all week.
“We worked with her for a few years, and now she has passed Bikeability Level 3 and is able to ride on roads on her own.
“She even leads on sections of our led rides as a confident 12-year-old!”
Yusuf Youth Initiative has achieved the Cycling Friendly Community Gold award. This award only goes to groups which create long-term plans for cycling in their communities.
A major barrier to active travel, particularly in Scotland’s BAEM population, is not knowing how to ride a bike, or being able to afford one.
The most recent funding has allowed them to expand their fleet of bikes and storage facilities, to reach even more people and break down barriers.
Sandra Lavergne, community development officer at Cycling Scotland, says: “The Cycling Friendly Community fund is aimed at community groups in Scotland who want to increase opportunities for people to cycle.
“The funding can be used for bikes or facilities that make cycling more accessible for the community, regardless of people’s ability, background, or financial situation.
“Encouraging cycling in the community can bring people together, build skills and confidence, and address social and economic inequalities. Yusuf Youth Initiative are doing an incredible job in Dundee, bringing people of all ages together to discover the joy of cycling.
“We’d encourage any interested community groups to get in touch to discuss available support and opportunities.”
The Cycling Friendly Community fund is now open and accepting applications, subject to available funds. Workplaces, secondary schools and social housing providers can also apply. Groups can apply here.