I’m looking forward to using my motorbike to travel to snooker club and go on trips to Weston-super-Mare.
Motorbikes are in Jason’s blood. His Dad and his Uncle were both bikers and, as a child, he used to enjoy going to motorbike shows with his family.
As well as providing an important emotional link to his past, motorbikes are Jason’s only means of travelling independently. He broke his leg in an accident a few years ago and can now only walk with the use of two canes, though even with this additional support his mobility is restricted. Just getting to a local shop would be very difficult without his bike.
Jason has a learning disability and the Trust began supporting him this year. When he moved into one of our supported living services in Fishponds in February, his Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) motorcycle licence had expired. He would be unable to ride his motorbike until he completed a refresher test.
Our staff team immediately set to work on booking Jason’s test. With his mobility severely limited without the use of his motorbike, time was of the essence. However, in February the test centre was closed due to the pandemic and when it did reopen, there was a four-month waiting list. Luckily, a cancellation meant that an opening appeared earlier. 7am on a Sunday morning might not have been the ideal slot but Jason and the staff team decided to take it anyway.
Another challenge the staff team faced was how to get Jason’s motorbike to the test centre in Keynsham. With his licence expired, Jason couldn’t ride it there himself. The prospect of using one of the bikes available at the test centre caused Jason anxiety, as there were none similar to Jason’s own three-wheeler.
Instead, a van was hired to transport the motorbike but this still caused some difficulties for Jason due to his fear of someone stealing his bike. The team had been trained in Positive Behaviour Support and they used these skills to help navigate these challenging circumstances. The team decided to book the van a few days before the test so that Jason could see his bike going on to the van and then coming off again, and meeting the man who would be taking it, enabling him to become comfortable with the idea.
Things started going more smoothly when Jason finally arrived at the test centre. His affinity with the biker community meant that he felt relaxed and happy with the examiners. Helen, the Service Coordinator where Jason lives, waited for him at the centre while he took his test and was delighted when he returned with good news – he’d passed!
With his CBT licence renewed, Jason is now able to enjoy getting out and about again. As well as local outings to do his shopping and other routine activities, Jason has also been taking some longer trips. He recently went all the way to Weston, with a staff member driving ahead of him to make sure he didn’t lose his way. While there, he enjoyed some fish and chips and attended a motorbike show, just like the ones he went to as a child.
Once a biker, always a biker!