Find out more about this fantastic scheme in our guest blog from Welcome to Yorkshire.
Everyone’s telling parents to get their children out and about, active and using a bicycle – but what if your little ones don’t have their own bike?
We’ve found the perfect solution – because that’s where the Yorkshire Bank Bike Library scheme can help!
The scheme has a really simple aim: to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike for free. It believes that all children, regardless of their circumstances, should have the opportunity to ride a bike – and have a ‘wheely’ good time doing it.
Kids in Leeds can go along to one of the ten bike libraries scattered across the city and borrow a bike, anytime they like. The libraries even have loads of group led activities to get your little ones started. It’ll put a huge smile on their faces (not to mention yours, because it won’t cost you a penny!)
The first bike library opened in 2015 – only two years ago – but since then, they’ve popped up all over Yorkshire and enhanced the lives of tens of thousands of children across the county. We know that not everyone can afford to buy a bike. To start with they’re expensive, then your kids grow out of them, and if you’ve got more than one child in your family, you’re facing paying into the hundreds of pounds – nightmare.
Thomas Voeckler, winner of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016, presenting the 5000th bike to the scheme.
But with the bike library scheme, your little ones can still enjoy the chance to explore on two wheels. You can even benefit from the libraries if you’re away from home. Say you’re on a family trip around Yorkshire and looking for a way to explore the new surroundings. Chances are, you won’t be far from a bike library as there are almost 50 across all four corners of the county. Just visit the Yorkshire Bank Bike Library website for information on all the locations.
Even if you don’t need to use one of the libraries, you might still be able to get involved and help out other children in your community. Because anyone with an old bike they’re not using any more can take it to a local donation station, where it’ll be spruced up and used at one of the bike libraries. So, if your little ones are all grown up and their old bikes are taking up space in your shed, why not take it along to your local donation station and help to change the life of another child! It’s a feel-good idea all round!
And behind the bike libraries are some heart-warming stories about people whose lives have been changed forever. For example, one bike library is based at a primary school which helps to teach autistic children how to ride a bike for the first time; while another arranges bike rides for families of servicemen and women to help them integrate and make friends in the area.
None of these opportunities would be possible without the support of Yorkshire Bank, who have thrown their weight behind Welcome to Yorkshire’s mission to make Yorkshire the first place where nobody, regardless of their circumstances, is deprived of a bike.
Full details of the bike libraries across Leeds are:
- Middleton Park Bike Hub, The Golf House, Middleton Park LS10 3TN
- St George’s One Stop Centre, St George’s Road, Middleton LS10 4UZ
- One Stop Centre, Dewsbury Road, LS11 6PF
- Richmond Hill Primary School, Clark Lane, LS9 8PN
- New Wortley Community Centre, Tong Road, LS12 1LZ
- One Stop Centre, Stockshill, Armley LS12 1UQ
- The Reginald Centre, Chapeltown Road, LS7 3EX
- The Compton Centre, Harehills Lane, LS9 7BG
- Fearnville Leisure Centre, Oakwood Lane, Fearnville, LS8 3LF
- Moor Allerton Library, King Lane, LS17 5NY
For more information about the Yorkshire Bank Bike Library scheme and all the libraries in Leeds and Yorkshire, visit http://bikelibraries.yorkshire.com/
Photography credit Richard Walker (www.imagenorth.net).