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Swan’s Customer Involvement and Community Development team have been running a second cohort of free women’s cycling lessons for Blackwall Reach residents.

The lessons have been tailored for a variety of experiences and abilities, starting out with one-to-one taster sessions for complete beginners and building up to weekly group lessons.

The sessions have helped Swan customers develop a new life skill, build confidence and immerse themselves in their community.

The first cohort of cyclists really bought into the ethos of improving wellbeing through cycling. Swan, alongside London Borough of Tower Hamlets, are continuing to support the participants in their cycling journey, with two of the cyclists from the first cohort gaining free, year-long passes for the Santander Cycles courtesy of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

One member of the first cohort was Suariya. She was a complete beginner when she started the lessons and said it was a ‘great experience’. The sessions enabled her to improve her health and connect with other women from the community – opportunities that had previously been lacking given  15 months of Covid-19 enforced lockdown.  

Nasima was another member of the first cohort and began the sessions as an intermediate rider who lacked confidence on the roads. She was very grateful to be able to develop her cycling ability in a safe and friendly environment. Nasima loved that it was such a fun activity to take part in, with the sessions providing her with a sense of freedom.

Following the success of the first round of lessons, a second cohort of cyclists were taken on in September. We hope the lessons will continue to build women’s confidence on a bike, improve health and wellbeing and help bring members of the Blackwall Reach community together.