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Nestled in amongst the beautiful surroundings of Cardiff’s historic Bute Park is a unique charity working to enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the benefits of cycling.

Pedal Power is the largest accessible cycling charity in the UK, offering a wide-range of cycling initiatives – from adaptive and general bike hire to repairs and training – as well as a busy café serving some of the best coffee in Cardiff!

The charity works with thousands of people every year, many of whom have caring responsibilities. The Pedal Power team wanted to raise awareness of the work they already do to support unpaid carers and explore other ways they could help the many hundreds of carers that use the charity’s services every year.

The team decided they wanted to work towards becoming Carer Friendly after receiving specialist training from Carers Trust South East Wales about best practice in supporting unpaid carers.

Sian Donovan is a director at the charity. She says the ultimate aim is for carers to be part of everyday conversations at Pedal Power:

“Although we have always worked with unpaid carers, and they are a group of people we feel we know, we didn’t feel we were always supporting them as best we could. The training provided by Carers Trust South East Wales gave us the push to think a bit more about the carers that use our services. Carer Friendly has been ideal as it’s given us the chance to look at what we already do, and then look at the practical steps we can take to improve how we work with unpaid carers.

We want people coming into Pedal Power to see and search out information about caring and to have the confidence to talk to any of our staff or volunteers, many of who are carers themselves, about their care role.

There are always people in the same boat and we want people coming into Pedal Power to know they are in a safe, tolerant place and that they are accepted.

I’m really proud of the practical changes we’ve made to better support unpaid carers. We’ve added carers’ awareness to our staff and volunteer induction, we’ve set up a dedicated carers’ corner in our cafe and our membership scheme offers free cycle hire for carers. We’re developing a book of stories too – we want people to hear from real people from across Wales about their own experiences of caring for a friend or relative.

What we are doing is quite small, but will hopefully give people the confidence to come and say – yes, I’m a carer too!”

The charity wanted to raise awareness of the work it already does to support carers and explore other ways it could help the many hundreds of carers that visit the charity every year.

Pedal Power works with well over 2,000 people every year and has over 1,200 people signed up as registered members.