Celebrating Cycling Success at the Laurels Centre in Newry

April 14, 2014

Service Users from the Laurels Day Care Centre for people with a learning disability in Newry are celebrating achieving certificates for completing level one of the Cyclist Touring Club (CTC) National Standards Cycle Programme. This is the first project of its kind within the health and social care service in Northern Ireland.

The group completed a level one cycling proficiency test as part of an innovative programme of health and wellbeing activities at the centre and they can now participate in cycling as an activity with the newly trained CTC Instructor, John Flett who is also a Day Care Worker in the Centre.

As part of the programme John developed an assessment tool with the service users to determine levels of balance and co-ordination before participating in the programme.  This information enables John to deliver a cycle skills programme that is tailored to the needs of each individual and appropriate to the level of skill development required.

The service users can now progress to Level 2 of the CTC programme to further advance their skills and confidence to cycle in an urban environment and it is hoped that this will provide greater opportunities to access and participate in both trust sponsored and independent cycle programmes within their local community.

The Southern Trust hopes to share this programme with other Day Centres and Community Access groups in order to promote individual health and wellbeing and the principles of access to community activities in line with Transforming Your Care.

Gerard Rocks, Assistant Director for Promoting Wellbeing, Southern Trust said: “Recent engagement and consultation exercises have shown that there needs to be more and better opportunities for people with a learning disability to actively participate in improving their own health and wellbeing.  Cycling is a fun and inexpensive way to get people more active and this in turn benefits their social and emotional wellbeing. With the investment the Trust receives from the Public Health Agency, we are delighted to have been able to create even more opportunities like this one to keep the population of the southern area active.”