David Pitcher joins Purposely Podcast to share his founder story creating Wheely Tots
David was inspired by a volunteer experience in 2014 to change direction and think about setting up a charity. This seminal moment led him to start Wheely Tots, now a successful social enterprise helping hundreds of families and children in North London to live healthier lives. Wheely Tots uses the process of learning to ride a bike to develop greater confidence and better resilience.
In our chat David talks about his own passion for riding and how that helped him settle on cycling as a way of delivering the Tots programme. David’s family is a blend of English (Yorkshire) and Polish roots and has been through some hard times. He saw they lacked resilience and confidence but had a real drive to work hard. He used this experience to focus his charity work, including immigrant families as well as people who are struggling to get on in life and are challenged by the effects of poverty.
The charity has delivered over 2,000 hours of balance bike sessions and reached over 1,000 families in Haringey and North Hackney, London. They have engaged with 96 young people over the first year of the youth-led initiative, Your Bike Project, created 5 part-time jobs and trained 5 local people as cycling instructors. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, they are using their skills and resources to continue to support families to access cycling safely, and help those most in need. Delivering bikes and balance bikes, running a foodbank, mending broken bikes and helping families socialise continues to be their focus.