Vélo Birmingham & Midlands has been embraced by communities and businesses right along the route every year since the inaugural event took place in 2017. Below are a couple of case studies that showcase how local schools, businesses and residents have got behind the event and made it a great day for everyone involved.
If you would like your local community, village, club or business to be a part of Vélo Birmingham & Midlands, check out our Get Involved page with details on our Community Celebration Programme, as well as tips and ideas to help bring your idea to life.
If you have any questions on getting involved please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Get Involved” in the subject line.
WOODLANDS INFANT SCHOOL, SHIRLEY:
For the first time ever, Vélo introduced a new exciting initiative, the Vélo Schools 100 Challenge, aimed at encouraging children to get on their bikes and get active.
Woodlands Infant School was one of the many schools that successfully completed the challenge and certainly took it to the next level, setting their own two-wheeled challenge in order to raise funds for the school and encourage physical activity!
Inspired by the Vélo event, pupils got out on their bike and scooters over a one-week period in the lead up to the event and collectively matched the event, smashing their own 100-mile challenge. Pupils were sponsored to ride or scoot as far as they could each day, with their miles added to their classroom daily mile tally. Woodlands Infant School managed to collectively cycle a very impressive 400 miles across the week’s Vélo 100 challenge, which is the equivalent of cycling all the way to Paris!
One of the teachers said, ‘For an infant school of just over 200 pupils aged 3-7, we thought the challenge was fantastic, all the children thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Woodlands Vélo 100 challenge it also brought so much joy to everyone who helped organise it, seeing the bike/scooter racks overflowing every day!’. A pupil said that following the challenge she would now ‘always ride her bike to school’.
In the lead up to the event, pupils were also busy making banners that were put up along the route to show their support for the Vélo riders. One of the participants said ‘It was fantastic to see the support from a local school along the route, the support banners were amazing!’
Two Vélo participants cycling for CBRE also attended a Woodlands Infant School assembly to teach the children about the special bikes they use, how the brakes worked on the bike and where they keep their drink bottles when riding.
A teacher from the school said “The assembly was fantastic, it really helped create a buzz and excitement for the Vélo fun day and all the children were very excited to ride more after speaking to the visitors”.
The fun didn’t stop there, on the day of the event Woodlands Infant school organised a family fun day on the green adjacent to the school, and certainly made the most of the road closures for a street party vibe. They had a bouncy castle, a children’s dance class, glitter face paints, cake sales, cycle-related colouring competitions, bike scavenger hunt, Vélo biscuit medals to buy and much more!
It was a hugely successful event, with the school raising over £1000 and it has definitely encouraged more children to ride their bikes and scooters. Woodlands Infant school said, ‘we are certainly keen to roll the challenge out again in 2020 and thank everyone who donated prizes for our pupils to win for taking part in the challenge!’
The town of Bewdley encapsulated the local involvement and support perfectly thanks to the successful organisation of the Bewdley Bike Festival. Local businesses and children got involved decorating bikes which were dotted all over the village to welcome the riders, and hundreds of people turned out in force to cheer on the participants. We worked together with the local Parish Council to make their ideas come to life, advising on bike placement and how their ideas could be incorporated into the event.
We provided stewards and barriers along the route to ensure the safety of spectators, and help people cross the roads during the event. To help with transport to and from the route for the community, we worked together on planning a park and ride throughout the day. With so many locals coming out for the event, and a number of participants stopping, this proved to be a positive for businesses, increasing their takings and footfall.
With spectators lining the route throughout Bewdley, there was an amazing celebratory atmosphere in the village which proved to be an unforgettable part of the ride for participants. This is just one example of the sort of feedback we received from local residents:
“We spent a few hours watching the cyclists going past. I think my daughter lost count of how many high 5’s she got. She loved it!”
The riders were inspired by the warmth and enthusiasm of the welcome provided by local residents who, in turn, enjoyed a fun day out. Bewdley also received a variety of press coverage, including features in local press and on ITV, and an impressive number of mentions on social media.
Here are just a few of the comments from our riders about their experience of Bewdley:
“Bewdley is now on my list of places to visit and stay and will recommend for others I know to do the same. Thank you Bewdley.”
“It was quite a community event, lots of people out, sitting on their lawn chairs with a cup of tea or whatever, cheering you on, so it was really good.”
“We went to the finish line and lots of riders said the atmosphere in Bewdley was the same as the finish. Loved the decorated bikes too! Well done Bewdley!”
GARDENERS ARMS, DROITWICH:
The Gardener’s Arms, a 17th Century Pub located in Droitwich, pub hosted an epic, cycling themed street party featuring live music, real ale and cider, a barbeque, local business stalls, and a bouncy castle with kids’ entertainers. Simon explains:
“We got a license from the Council to serve alcohol on the street, so we had a bar and a BBQ outside with a band playing in the background. It was absolutely phenomenal, one of the best ever events we have held here. The atmosphere on the day was superb and the riders really appreciated it as they came through”.
We worked closely with the owner Simon Berry and provided him with support which enabled him to leverage the crowds the event drew in to help him make a success of the day.
For the safety of the spectators we installed barriers, and organised stewards in the area to cross locals in front of the pub.
Due to their involvement with the event, we were able to get significant PR exposure for the pub, who were featured on TV and in local newspapers in the lead up to the event. Simon confirmed that on event day BBC Hereford and Worcester were there all day and truly acknowledged the success of the event.
With the support provided to back the pub’s fantastic initiatives, Simon confirmed that they had a 125% increase in takings on the day of the event and numerous locals enjoyed spectating from the pub.
Simon could not see a reason not to be involved in Vélo events, affirming that:
“We’re a charitable nation and we’re a great sporting nation and with this being the second biggest bike ride in the country and all for a worthwhile cause, it’s very important that we support it”.