The group is run by Jane Bisiker, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist for Stroke Services, at West Park hospital. Every Thursday from April to end of October it runs morning and afternoon sessions to help patients recover from the ravages of a stroke.
Jane takes the morning group herself with the help of two paid support assistants and any volunteers willing to help.
The morning session is for people who need more one to one help and supervision. The afternoon session is run by freelance cycling coaches currently paid for via a three-year lottery funded cycling project.
The group would like to buy more bikes to run more sessions but they need to be specially made and cost £2,700.
“This is very close to my heart. As soon as I left home, I went to live with Jan and Peter Morris, and their daughter Charlotte, to whom I will always owe a massive debt. They were brilliant to me, supporting me throughout my career and becoming great friends in the process.
“A couple of weeks before I ruptured my patella tendon in my right knee while playing for Hereford, Pete suffered a serious stroke from which he is still fighting to recover.”
“He’s not regained his speech or movement on his right side but one of the things I know he loves are his cycling sessions around West Park.”
“The bikes require a special set-up are very expensive but I would love to buy a new one for Pete and his fellow patients out of the funds raised.”
Jane Bisiker told us what a new bike would mean to them:
“If there were more bikes, and more storage space for bikes, then more sessions could be run. I know how much Pete loves cycling, so it would be brilliant for all patients like him to be able to cycle every week instead of once a fortnight or 3 weeks.
“It’s hard for me to exaggerate the benefits of the group to people like Pete. It provides exercise, independence, fun, friendship and the development of natural support networks.”