The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust (BHIT) a UK registered children’s charity promotes safe cycling and the use of cycle helmets to reduce head injury. BHIT produces educational material, works with young people, teachers, road safety and police to empower children. BHIT provides access to affordable helmets. The charity is small, very committed, having 3 part time staff and 4 volunteers.
The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust (the Trust) has found that by targeting children aged 9 to 13; the Trust can be most effective. It is at this stage in a child's life that many youngsters start to cycle independently and are also heavily influenced by peer pressure. This is also the highest risk age group for injury. We are therefore committing too:
The Trust will provide free helmets to children in socially deprived areas who otherwise could not afford one. The Trust believes that no child should be placed at risk because their family is financially challenged.
In secondary schools our programme will include educational talks, egg helmet demonstration kit used by the Trust, a video and leaflet distribution and the production of a Teachers education pack.
The Trust publishes several leaflets aimed at different ages and various ethnic groups. Leaflets are produced in Punjabi, Albanian, Urdu and Cantonese, English, Polish, Czech and Slovakian.
Every year the Trust runs a fun promotional scheme. Helmet Watch, is run nationwide whereby thousands of on-the-spot prize envelopes (22,000 packs went out in 2008) are handed out to youngsters all over the UK spotted wearing a cycle helmet. Road safety officers and the police distribute the envelopes which contain a prize, leaflet and a prize draw card giving the youngster the chance to win a larger prize. This is a positive incentive to get children wearing their helmets.
The Trust also recognises the importance of monitoring and evaluating the work it does and all the work carried out in schools is evaluated using a system of questionnaires sent to pupils both before and after the Trust has worked with the children. This helps the Trust to monitor the success of its programmes and highlight any changes that need to be made.