In March 2011, Barrhead Centre service users sought funding to develop a cycle club for adults with learning disabilities. The service user committee set up ‘The Barrhead Melo Velo Club’ and purchased three special adult trikes, five standard bicycles and tools/equipment for cycle maintenance. For some service users, this was their first experience of cycling. They enjoyed the exercise and inherent social benefits so were keen to expand the project for every adult with a disability in East Renfrewshire.
Continued demand led to further funding to provide cycle riding and maintenance training with the aim of creating a low cost service for adults with disabilities to service and repair their cycles and pass on new skills to others.
By working together, Barrhead Centre and criminal justice staff promoted positive re-integration opportunities for offenders by enabling them to contribute to a visible, community based service to benefit others.
The Melo Velo workshop is now largely self-financing via sales of refurbished cycles and service/repair of cycles for the public. Since the workshop and cycling club are open to all regardless of disability/ability and sale/repair charges are low, the Melo Velo club seeks to reduce inequalities by providing an accessible, competitive service to the community.