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Sixty Somali women learn to ride with Cycle Sisters

Cycle Sisters launched a new project engaging Somali women in Tower Hamlets in cycling as part of our inclusion work, to ensure that we are reaching all parts of the Muslim community.

In partnership with Bikeworks and supported by the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group and Tower Hamlets Council, we organised women-only group cycle lessons in Victoria Park. The lessons were suitable for all levels from complete beginners to those who were ready to learn to cycle safely on the roads.

Sixty women participated in the lessons, with 32 learning to ride a bike for the first time! The project was led by two amazing women from the Somali community, Shankaron and Rahma, who provided language support, motivation and inspiration. Rahma even went on to gain a Level 1 Ride Leadership Award with British Cycling and now supports Cycle Sisters' regular Sunday rides in Tower Hamlets.

Ferdous attended sessions since the start of the project, joining as an absolute beginner who could not balance. She struggled with confidence and didn't feel that she could reach the start point by herself. She was supported by project lead Shankaron, who met her for the first few weeks to walk together to the lesson. By the 4th session, Ferdous was pedalling around the park! Now she has gained so much confidence not just in cycling, but also just in herself, and in the final session she rode all the way to the Olympic Park!

We're looking forward to repeating this project in 2024 and are looking to expand to our other boroughs too.

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