Find out about how you might be able to fund your new bike
Local social services
- If you are eligible for community care services you may receive a Personal Budget through your local council.
- If you do not know about this, please contact your local authority’s social services department who will be able to help.
- If you are eligible, you will need to demonstrate that having a cycle will enable you to live independently and enhance your quality of life.
- Social services staff will need to agree with this assessment before funding your cycle.
- Applying for a grant is an option for those who do not work (or would rather not pay for their cycle), those with a need for a more expensive cycle and those who are eligible.
- There are many grant-giving organisations within the UK so it’s important to target the ones most likely to make you an award.
- A charity associated with your impairment or long term health condition is the best contact point to start your funding search. They will understand your needs better than most and may even be able to help you make an application.
- Grant-giving organisations are categorised by their national or local focus (by county or borough) and their specific area of help.
- The organisations also have clear rules on who they can help, often only people on low incomes.
- Grants for IndividualsGrants for Individuals provides an online directory of grants that individuals can apply for.www.grantsforindividuals.org.uk/default.aspx
- Turn2usTurn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.www.turn2us.org.uk/grants_search.aspx
- Family FundFamily Fund is the UK’s largest provider of grants to low-income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.www.familyfund.org.uk
- Disability GrantsDisability Grants provides a directory of grants for people with disabilities.www.disability-grants.org
Also consider contacting:
- Your local Rotary Club: www.ribi.org and Lions Club https://directory.lionsclubs.org
- Variety the Children’s Charity https://www.variety.org.uk/what-we-do/equipment-grants if the cycle is for a child
- Disability organisations in your community that might know about local grants and be able to support you through the process
- Your current or former employer to find out if there is a benevolent fund for your profession
- It is a good idea to phone an organisation in advance of making an application to them, to check that your request is within their remit.
- It may also be a good idea to include a letter from a professional such as a physiotherapist, but this is not necessarily required. The letter should detail the benefits that a cycle would bring such as improving your physical fitness and enhancing your mental wellbeing by improving your social life and enabling you to live more independently.
Go Fund MeGo Fund Me is recommended by a cyclist who was able to raise over £2000 to buy their own recumbent trike.www.gofundme.com
Cycle to Work Scheme
- This scheme enables you to purchase a tax-free cycle through your employer (if you are a PAYE employee) and spread the cost.
- It allows the purchase of any cycle through your employer up to £1000 and can provide savings of 30% to 50% dependent upon your tax band.
- Contact your employer’s Cycle to Work scheme representative who will ask you to sign to accept the terms of the employee hire agreement (as your employer will effectively be leasing you the cycle for the period of payment).
- Visit your cycle shop and get a quote for the items you want (you can also purchase equipment such as a helmet and lights through this scheme).
- Input the quote to the Cycle to Work Scheme website, wait to be issued a voucher then use this to purchase the cycle from the shop.
- You should not have to pay VAT if your cycle is ‘adapted’ for ‘special needs’. Even if you only need a regular bicycle, have a chat to the manufacturer or the cycle shop. Hopefully they will be able to advise you further.
- Further information is available at www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/disabled.htm.
Cycling for All welcomes your comments and experiences. Please email email@example.com or call 020 7346 8482.