Changing Gear - 2010

Photo above: At Maidenhill School

This year we took part in activities for the whole of June, called Green Travel Month. As well as cycling to school, cycle training was offered in the schools and basic bike maintenance classes in one of the schools (Marling). Each of the four weeks in June focused on either cycling, walking, or public transport.

Cycle Training

6 cyclists were trained and accredited and covered by a CRB check. Each school was given a trainer to work with them during Bike Week teaching the students basic bike maintenance, wearing of helmets and safety wear and general bike handling.
Marling had 2 very successful days with Henry Kemp (a former pupil) who said the days were very enjoyable. Maidenhill had two days with 3 different trainers; Clare and Paul Sheridan and Ricky Dickenson took students through a simple assessment and then played games as well as attending the Bikers Breakfast. Rednock was linked with John Roberts who is keen to continue his links with the school in the future. Archway was linked with Ricky Dickenson but after an interesting meeting it was not possible to organise any training. As a spin off from this work Ricky also went into Park Junior School for a day of training and fun.
Photo above: Training at Maidenhill School

The cycle trainers were exceptional in their consideration and skill when working with the public and in schools and their contribution is acknowledged with thanks and appreciation.

Bikers Breakfast

The students acknowledged that the biker’s Breakfast was a great incentive. Marling had a table laden with delicious goodies prepared and donated by the school PTA. Maidenhill had a healthy breakfast in their canteen organised by the student Council.
Stroud High also had a breakfast for the girls who had cycled in.
Photo above: Breakfast at Marling School and below at Maidenhill School
Raising Funds for a Good Cause

This year the organisation chosen by the students was Project GreenHands (http://www.projectgreenhands.org//).
“Throughout the world dire warnings are being issued about the effects of human activity on the natural environment. Communities on every continent are experiencing the devastation of declining water quality, soil degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss. Project GreenHands (PGH), a grassroots ecological initiative established by Isha Foundation in Tamil Nadu, India, has grown out of deep concern for the global effects of deforestation and land degradation, and in particular, for the rapidly changing ecology of Tamil Nadu.”

The students of Marling School raised over £50. The message they delivered to the students was 50p plants a tree. Project Greenhands are in the Guiness book of Records for planting the most trees in one day. They made the point that trees help take CO2 out of the atmosphere especially in tropical areas.

Low Carbon Bursary

This year John Meadley, on behalf of Transition Stroud, was able to raise funds to enable a Marling teacher to spend half a day a week on environmental matters. The cheque for £1,270 was handed to the head boy at the Bikers Breakfast.
Photo above: John Meadley handing over the cheque to the Head Boy

Changing Gear - 2009

BIKE WEEK in 2009 was 13th - 20th June. We started with a big splash on the forecourt of the Subscription Rooms in Stroud on 13th June followed by training sessions at each of the schools.
Photo above: Pedal painting outside the Subscription Rooms
Photo above: At Thomas Keble School
Photo above: At Marling School
Photo above: At Stroud High School
Photos above and below: at Maidenhill School (with new cycle sheds)
ACTIVITIES DURING THE WEEK
  • CYCLING TO AND FROM SCHOOL. As last year, the main focus was on cycling to and from school. This year we also asked students to take a look at how people in their family get to and from work to see if they can help them find a way to use less energy and produce less pollution (details and link to follow).
  • IN-SCHOOL TRAINING. Off-road, in-school training was provided at all schools for one day – with tuition provided by qualified instructor Rob Reed.
  • ON-ROAD TRAINING. On-road training is being actively promoted at four of the schools. The students of the three schools that have responded positively to the invitation of the Gloucestershire County Council Schools Road Safety team will have the opportunity to undertake level 2/3 training (at a cost to the school of £4/head) as follows: Archway and Maidenhill (week of 13 July) and Stroud High School (week of 29 June). At Marling, level 3 training will be provided on Mondays from 1 June.
  • TRAILERS. we completed one of the bamboo trailers (in fact made from TV aerial rods) and we had the use of one cycle trailers used by Waitrose (see the page on trailers).
  • POST-CODING. Ultraviolet coding by Stroud police was available for all participating students.
  • BIKERS' BREAKFASTS. This took place at Archway, Maidenhill, Marling and Stroud High School.
PRIZES:
  • CYCLE VOUCHERS: There were 50 x £25 cycle vouchers per school redeemable at local cycle shops.
  • HIGH-VIZ BACKPACK COVERS. There were 4 high-viz backpack covers per school.
  • PUNCTURE REPAIR OUTFITS. Everyone who registered for the event received a free puncture repair outfit.
  • HEAVY DUTY LOCKSStroud Police provided one heavy duty lock for each school.
EVALUATION. There is a detailed evaluation report of the activities in 2009, and a there is a summary below:

SUMMARY OF THE CHANGING GEAR EVALUATION 2009 REPORT
This is the second year of CHANGING GEAR, encouraging secondary school students around Stroud to cycle to and from school – at Archway, Maidenhill, Marling, Stroud High and Thomas Keble schools.

176 students cycled to school during the week (15 – 19 June), 112 of them formally registered (20% girls) of which 71 provided information on their routes to school. 118 students participated in on-site cycle skills training and 22 year 7 pupils undertook level 3 on-road proficiency training. The majority were from years 7-9.

Based on the route information provided, the students cycled around 7,100 km during BIKE WEEK. If a third of these continue to cycle during the school year, the distance cycled will be around 90,000 km – equivalent to 14 tonnes of CO2 if they had travelled by car.

Following on from CHANGING GEAR in 2008, bike maintenance training was provided at Marling School in the 2008 autumn term and mountain bike clubs have been set up at Maidenhill and Thomas Keble schools.

As part of finding ways of carrying bulky items to school (e.g. cricket bags), a sample of the Bike-Hod trailer used by Waitrose was demonstrated and the “bamboo” trailer was modified for local production - using TV aerials, jubilee clips and plastic ties. It is hoped that some of the schools will engage in its further development during the autumn term.

Of the 71 difficult locations identified by the students, more than half 37 were roundabouts. Progress has been made following the meeting with the local authorities on 9 July 2008, at which it was agreed to focus on the area from the Sainsbury’s roundabout to the Cainscross roundabout. Potential routes have emerged, which are currently being surveyed and potential funds have been identified (Annex 2).

Using funds provided by Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust, 18 students who did not own a bike, due to their economic circumstances, now have (reconditioned) bikes and the majority of them were able to participate in the BIKE WEEK activities.

Funds were raised during BIKE WEEK to purchase bikes for teachers at an orphanage in Liberia. The target was £900. £100 was raised during the week, but with undertakings already made to hold non-uniform days and other events during the autumn term the target of £900 should be met.

A new website – www.changinggear.org.uk – has been developed and provides both background and current information.

A total of £2,730 was raised. The sponsors of CHANGING GEAR this year (in both cash and kind) are Cytek, Ecotricity, Gloucestershire County Council, Green Fuels, the Green Shop, Noah’s Ark, Stonehouse Accessories, Stonehouse Town Council, Stroud District Council, Stroud District Youth Council and Stroud Town Council. We appreciate their support and that of the participating teachers at each of the schools.

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Changing Gear - 2008

CHANGING GEAR ran for the first time in June 2008. Take a look at our short video and then read on to find out what happened.
We started CHANGING GEAR because we wanted you to enjoy cycling to and from school. In 2008 we did not have much time to prepare but quite a lot of things happened. During BIKE WEEK the numbers cycling to school increased from around 50 normally to nearly 240 and many have continued to cycle to school.
  • 114 students enjoyed some fun in-school cycle training
  • 50 students won a £25 cycle voucher
  • 5 students won a new cycle helmet
  • 100 students won BIKE WEEK wheel reflectors
  • All participants received a Stroud District Cycle Map
  • Bikers' breakfasts were held at two of the schools.
We learnt the places cyclists found it difficult and have taken this up with the local authorities

Cycle maintenance courses were introduced at Marling school

There is a detailed evaluation of CHANGING GEAR 2008 available
evaluation
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