New Forest disability cycling charity hits the road with new base near Burley

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Volunteers at the new Pedall base near Burley

A CYCLING organisation which has helped thousands of disabled riders enjoy the New Forest has opened a brand new base in the heart of the national park.

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Pedall New Forest Inclusive Cycling provides specialist bikes to suit a range of needs but until now has been run without a permanent HQ or storage.

Now, after winning permission from the national park authority, it has officially opened a facility refurbished by volunteers (pictured) from an old Forestry Commission shed leased in the woods north-east of Burley.

Pedall project manager Donna Neseyif said: “We have a super group of volunteers who help to support the project. We have just had a fabulous couple of days refurbishing the new base. It is amazing what a focused collaborative group of people can achieve.

“It is a privilege to be part of the Pedall team and work alongside such an amazing group of volunteers. The result is the new base has been transformed.

“It is a really positive step forward for the project and will help to ensure the sustainability of this fabulous project.”

The enterprise, originally called New Forest Inclusive Cycling, was started by the NPA and New Forest District Council with a grant from Hampshire County Council.

In the first year of funding more than 2,300 cycling sessions were delivered.

Last year it gained a three-year £300,000 donation from the Big Lottery Fund and has set up a charity, Friends of Pedall, to steer its future. It employs two people but is largely sustained by volunteers.

In the long-term the team is hoping to use the space to provide opportunities for young people with physical, learning or social difficulties to be taught practical skills, maintain the bikes through work experience, and apprenticeships.

For further information on how to get involved or to book a session, visit www.pedall.org.uk/help

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