Bike ride brings big smiles to young people with disabilities in Leatherhead

A winning image from Community Care’s social care photography competition captures experience of riding a bike for the first time

The “extraordinary delight” of a resident from the Queen Elizabeth Foundation’s independent living centre as she rode a bike for the first time is the subject of another winning image from Community Care’s Inspiring Images of Social Care photography competition.

Residents were given the opportunity to ride a bike when all-ability cycling company, Quest 88, brought a range of wheelchair-adaptable bikes to the Foundation’s centre in Leatherhead, Surrey. The star of the winning photo is Phoebe, who lives in the residential centre with approximately 40 other young adults with physical and learning disabilities.

Alex Chislett, a life coach at the centre, said “The delight on their [the residents] faces was just extraordinary, they had never experienced anything like that before.”

Alex runs a lively activity programme for residents, which includes art, news, cultural diversity and gardening groups. The centre recently put on a drama production of ‘Britain’s Got Talent comes to Leatherhead’ and Phoebe performed as part of the girl’s dance group, ‘Pampering’.

Alex has worked at the centre for 23 years and said she was thrilled the Foundation had won the competition and a place on the 2015 charity calendar, which is sponsored by Caritas recruitment.

She added: “We are all about promoting independence and enabling young people to feel in control of their lives as far as they are able to. Anything that promotes ability rather than disability can only be a good thing.”

View all the winning entries in Community Care’s Inspiring Images of Social Care competition.

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