Local charity using tandems to help disabled people enjoy the countryside

13 November 2018

A local charity is to offer more disabled people across Yorkshire the chance to enjoy the Great British countryside, after it was awarded a £5,000 grant to buy a specialist bicycle.

Open Country, which has tandem cycling groups in Harrogate, York, Wetherby, Ripon and Wakefield, will buy an electric disability tandem – an electric-powered bike that’s specially adapted for wheelchair users. It was awarded the funding by financial services company OneFamily as part of its Foundation Community Grant scheme.

The new bike will allow more people in wheelchairs to take part in the charity’s regular cycling groups, which are held at each of its locations throughout the week.

Founded in 1990, Open Country is a specialist charity that aims to make the countryside more accessible to those with both physical and learning disabilities, mental health issues, and sensory impairments. It currently supports more than 350 people across Yorkshire, running a range of activities, including wheelchair-accessible walks and rambles, conservation work parties, outdoor pursuits and nature study outings.

Open Country was nominated for a Community Grant by one of its Countryside Activities Officers Chris Hunter, who has a Children’s Cash Builder policy with OneFamily.

Chris said:

Yorkshire has some of the most stunning countryside in the UK, and at Open Country we strive to ensure that it’s accessible to everyone – regardless of their abilities.

Our tandem bicycle clubs are one of our most popular activities, and more than 150 riders attended last season. However, we currently only have one bike that is specially adapted for people in wheelchairs and it’s not electrically assisted.

Receiving this grant means that we can welcome even more people to our clubs and open the countryside to wheelchair users who may not ordinarily get the opportunity.

We can’t thank OneFamily enough for awarding us this money. It will make a real difference to our tandem clubs, helping us to ensure that they’re accessible to all.




Guy French, corporate and customer strategy director at OneFamily, said:

Many of us take for granted how easy it is to access the countryside, but people with disabilities can often be excluded unless they have the correct support.

Open Country breaks down barriers to access, and it’s great to know that our funding will help the charity expand its services to even more people across Yorkshire.

Our Community Grants support causes that our customers care about, and over the past three years the OneFamily Foundation has provided essential funding to more than 200 community projects across the UK.


The Community Grant scheme was created to give OneFamily customers the chance to support local groups and causes in their area that matter the most to them.  OneFamily customers can nominate local groups, projects and charities to receive up to £5,000 via its Foundation Community Grant scheme, with 30 projects benefiting in the last round of funding. For more information please visit: www.onefamily.com/your-foundation



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