Bike boost for Lakes centre visitors

Members of the ATSA Sports Council with Mark Grogan and Chris Jeffs from Brathay Trust
Members of the ATSA Sports Council with Mark Grogan and Chris Jeffs from Brathay Trust

Youngsters visiting one of Wigan’s centres in the Lake District will have the use of new bikes thanks to generous donations.

Brathay Trust need 24 bikes for pupils who go to Hinning House residential centre in the Duddon Valley, run by them on behalf of Wigan Council.

They set up a fund-raising appeal to raise £6,000 which has been boosted by by a £506 donation from the Atherton and Tyldesley Sports Association (ATSA).

As well as organising sports competitions and events for children across the borough, the ATSA raise money for good causes.

Brathay’s Chris Jeffs, Deputy Head of Centre, said: “Biking in the spectacular Duddon Valley is one of the most popular activities on offer to our young visitors.

“Sadly our bikes have seen better days so we’ve set a target of £6,072 to buy 24 new quality bikes to kick-start some adventures. Every £253 raised will buy a new bike.

“We estimate that within three years the bikes will have been used by 2,880 children.

“Riding a bike is a life skill, contributes to physical fitness and increases children’s independence.

“Among any group of children there will be one or two who aren’t confident cyclists or have never ridden a bike before.

“We also have visits from specialist schools for children with behavioural problems or learning disabilities and youngsters who need help with healthier lifestyles.

“We offer them encouragement, support with the technique and the chance to practice on flat, quiet roads and tracks in this beautiful valley.

“It increases independence in children, inspires confidence and can give those who come to Hinning House believing they can’t ride a bike a real sense of achievement when they find out they can.”

ATSA Founder and Tyldesley St George’s Central School headteacher, Mark Grogan was quick to respond to Brathay’s wheel appeal. His is one of many schools in Wigan area who benefit from Hinning House residentials where bike rides are an important part of the experience.

Mr Grogan said: “Over the years many children and staff have benefitted from the opportunity to cycle in the Lakes.

“When we learned of the appeal, we felt itwas only natural that we should contribute financially so that others can continue to enjoy the valuable experiences provided by the staff at Hinning House.”

Low Bank Ground and Hinning House are Wigan Council’s Outdoor Education Centres in the Lake District, managed by Brathay. Hundreds of families and children from Wigan area benefit from visits to the popular centres.

n To make a donation go to www.brathay.org.uk/donate/buy-a-bike-appeal