Green Gown Awards 2015 Student Engagement - University of Bradford Union of Students - Finalist

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | university | Student Engagement | cycling | disabled

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Cycling 4 All

Cycling 4 All uses disabled student engagement as an entry point to sustainability using a social learning model.

Through participation in physical activities, disabled students are introduced to pro-environmental messages leading to improvements in health, wellbeing and in developing green behaviours.

The Cycling 4 All project has engaged with over 3000 disabled students, producing the first wheelchair accessible allotment in the HE sector.

The garden site was developed with wheelchair users contributing at the design level and currently 40 staff and student teams maintain the 17 raised beds sharing knowledge and expertise. The project also provides electric assist adapted bicycles for use by disabled students.

This has enabled disabled students to cycle at an equivalent level to non-disabled student members of the University of Bradford Cycling Club and recently, three disabled students completed a coast to coast bike ride using adapted hand cycles, mountain bikes and trikes.

Top 3 learnings

1 We have found that inclusion is key to active engagement with disabled students. Labelling an activity as “disabled” leads to stigmatisation and isolation. Having mixed ability activities drives success

2 We have found that to run a successful project, it is vital to let students lead. Students have a diverse range of skillsets and interests and can bring vigour, innovation and can drive active engagement

3 Our project is currently driven by staff, student and community collaboration. This ensures that projects are driven forwards during periods where student numbers are low (i.e. the summer) and also allows the sharing of ideas and expertise.

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