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PCSOs inspire Riddings youngsters to cycle to school

PCSO Matt Thompson has been helping to inspire youngsters in Riddings.
PCSO Matt Thompson has been helping to inspire youngsters in Riddings.

PCSOs have been helping to inspire youngsters in Riddings to get on their bikes and make the trip to school safe and sustainable.

PCSO Matt Thompson of the Somercotes and Riddings Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team worked alongside Rob Bounds of Derbyshire County Council’s Sustainable Travel Team on a Balanceability day at Riddings Infant and Nursery School.

The special day was aimed at introducing the new intake of nursery children to cycling on two wheels, and included fun games and activities to help little ones develop a sense of balance so they can ride without stabilisers.

It is also part of ongoing work by the school and the Travel Smart team at Derbyshire County Council to encourage parents to leave the car at home and use other active, healthier and more environmentally ways of travelling.

PCSO Matt Thompson said: “Not only was this a great opportunity to meet and engage with some of our local youngsters, but it has also been a chance to help them learn how to stay safe while riding a bike and develop their balance skills and confidence.

“I also hope that we have helped to encourage the little ones and perhaps their parents too, to cycle to and from school.”

Working alongside the council and officers from Somercotes and Riddings Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, the school has already achieved the national Modeshift STARS gold award for the work they’ve done including security marking bikes, providing cycle and scooter storage and holding walk, cycle and scoot to school events.

Katie Marshall, Nursery Teacher at Riddings Infant and nursery school, said: “It’s brilliant to have the support from Matt and Rob to inspire the children to use a bicycle just like they do and to think about how to keep safe too by wearing hi- visibility clothing and cycle helmets.

“Encouraging children to cycle to school from such a young age will hopefully help instil this as a good habit throughout their school life as well as reducing the impact of traffic congestion and pollution.”

Balanceability is the UK's first accredited 'learn-to-cycle' programme for children aged two and a half to six years old. You can find out more information by visiting www.balanceability.com.

If you would like to keep in touch with the work of the Somercotes and Riddings Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team by following them on Twitter, @SomercotesSNT, or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlfretonSNormantonPinxtonSomercotesRiddingsSNT