Thursday 25 March 2010

Getting started

To go back a couple of months,

Thu 14th Jan
A local resident, Ann Bodkin, who I've been working with on setting up the Onion Shed, a local one-planet living initiative, told me that she had heard Lilian Baylis School want to do a bike project. It had emerged from the school’s involvement with Citizen Schools and they were looking for people to get involved and attend a meeting on Monday 18th in Blackheath.

Mon 18th Jan
During the day I spoke to Misha Byrne, Lambeth School Travel Plan Manager, who told me that she has succeeded in persuading Kennington Police Station to provide bikes to Walnut Tree Walk school where I'm a governor and trying to develop cycling. I mentioned the Blackheath meeting and Misha asked to be told how it went. That evening I went to the Citizen Schools meeting at a school in Blackheath and met several students and a couple of teachers of Lilian Baylis and found out their desire to have a bike hub. I was impressed by their enthusiasm.

Tue 19th Jan
I spoke about the meeting with Misha who told me she'd just had the offer to tender for a grant from TfL for £30,000. Only one inner London borough would be successful but the bid had to be in by that Friday at noon! We agreed I'd draft a bid and send it to her to tweak.

The criteria were:

· Development of a secondary schools project which works in schools in deprived areas to improve access to cycles and provide relevant training (with a view to increase levels of cycling)


The project should be designed with the following specific deliverables in mind.

· Get the buy-in from 2 or 3 secondary schools – that are within close proximity to each other, in an area of poor deprivation where access to bikes is low

· Target schools where overcrowding on buses is an issue

· Improve access to bikes – you could seek to acquire bikes from a range of sources - or part fund some bikes and equipment from the funds of this project – but other methods of acquiring bikes and equipment needs to be explored (for example you could approach any cycle recycling charities, the local police etc)

· Provide the schools with the necessary tools to establish a bike club – to include training and maintenance as a minimum. The club could also include other ideas – such as sponsored bike rides, bike marshals, school trips and parent/teacher training

· Ensure the school is able to run the club independently after the launch of the project

· Provide some monitoring and evaluation of the project detailing results and recommendations

I wrote a bid, incorporating some local and relevant information I'd been gathering for a while with the intention of getting a project of this manner off the ground in Kennington. I'd just started researching the local ward in detail as part of a project funded by the Vodafone Foundation to research on Ward Auditing Methodology with the London Cycling Campaign so I had some useful facts and figures to put in.

Misha and I batted it backwards and forwards for a couple of days and submitted the bid on Friday 22nd January in the morning.