Jo is the founder and coordinator of Pedal Power, a cycling club for people of all ages who have learning disabilities. The club started 14 years ago, in Finsbury, North London, when Jo couldn’t find cycling group suitable for her daughter Suzie. With £600 from a fundraising tea party at home, Jo started her own, and Pedal Power was born.
Today Pedal Power has weekly and fortnightly sessions in Finsbury Park, as well as a weekly session in Islington around the Arsenal Emirates stadium. Although initially funded by Sport England, Arsenal FC continued the funding after seeing the huge popularity and success of the group, and even featured Pedal Power in a match day programme.
For many of our members, no one believed they could learn how to cycle.
- Jo Roach
Jo works with Islington, Hackney and Haringey councils and organisations that offer services to people with a learning disability, from local colleges and schools, to Jewish Orthodox groups and children’s charities. And Suzie still enjoys Pedal Power, regularly attending and helping to set up the bikes.
For Jo, the best part is, “Seeing people with disabilities enjoying the freedom of cycling. For many of our members, no one believed they could learn how to cycle.”
Jo’s nomination reads, “Anyone who attends one of Jo’s sessions can see the difference she and her trainers are making. Jo is hard-working, compassionate, tenacious and inspirational.”