Imagine a centre in the city that provided adapted cycles and trained leaders to work with children and adults with disabilities who might benefit from the opportunity to get out and about.
Well, imagine no longer – there is one. In Liverpool as a matter of fact. But it needs your help. Unfortunately we live in straitened times and the Liverpool branch of Wheels For All has had its funding slashed.
Jill Hampson works on the project and isn’t conceding defeat. She’s trying to raise four grand through several events, including running a marathon.
We don’t expect you to get your running shoes on, but you can help by donning your best togs and heading down to the Clove Hitch for a night of acoustic music, booze and doing some good.
Yes, this is what a Big Society looks like. We asked Jill to explain why the project’s so important to her – and to Liverpool.
Jill Hampson: The Wheels for All initiative embraces all children and adults with disabilities and differing needs, to engage in cycling. By using specially adapted cycles, the activities are both physically and mentally stimulating as well as fun for everyone involved.
All the centres are equipped with specially adapted cycles and Wheels for All trained leaders, who have the knowledge and confidence to work with adapted cycles for participants to enjoy the benefits of cycling. The centres welcome individuals, groups and families to be involved.
My nephew has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the cycling project has helped him develop the confidence to learn how to ride a bike and he keeps getting better and better. I know so many parents and carers who have similar success stories with their children, but like so many fantastic causes, it has had to deal with cuts.
We need projects like these in Liverpool. If the charity ceased to exist, it would be heartbreaking for all the families involved.
SS: Tell us about the fundraising night
It’s the first of my many schemes to help keep Wheels for All alive and running in the future. I’m currently in training for the Blackpool Marathon next year. I’m hoping to raise £2000 – but even the smallest donation can make a huge difference.
The Wheels For All Christmas party is going to be an acoustic festive extravaganza at The Clove Hitch on Hope Street. Entry is £3 and we have five main acts to entertain, plus a few open mic spaces if people are feeling brave. We have raffle tickets on sale with a few rather amazing prizes that will be revealed on the night.
The Clove Hitch has a huge selection of drinks and it promises to be a great night – all the money raised from the night will go to the Liverpool branch of Wheels For All.
This December also marks Disability History Month throughout the UK so my event is being supported by the University of Liverpool, who are putting on many different events during the week.
SS: Which acts are involved?
JH: Our main act will be Freda and the High Tides: three girls, a guitar, a melodica, a tambourine and some kazoos. What more could you ask for? Shel, who plays guitar in the band, also works for the University and will be involved in Disability History Month.
Andy Cowan is next up, he’s a very talented singer/songwriter. He also plays my favourite City and Colour song when I request it.
Hannah Ashcroft and Miles Carrington are two very talented friends of mine are also in the line up. I will also be playing under my new stage name of Jillybean.
You can donate to Jill’s Just Giving page here
Wheels For All Christmas Shindig
The Clove Hitch
8pm, 5 December