Cyclists ‘Pedal to Empower’ around Southsea to raise awareness of bicycle charity and meet ‘inspirational’ local women

A TEAM of cyclists pedalled around Southsea to raise awareness of a charity supporting women and young girls.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:59 am
Updated Monday, 7th June 2021, 11:22 am

Two Portsmouth City Councillors were among a group of six cyclists taking part in ‘Pedal to Empower’, a charity event hosted by World Bicycle Relief.

This charity aims to help women and young girls in developing countries by providing them with bicycles, meaning that they have greater access to education, healthcare, and livelihoods.

Portsmouth based Emma Strong, World Bicycle Relief’s development manager, joined councillors George Fielding and Charlotte Gerada, as well as Paula Savage, Milton Labour campaigner. Kevin Watkins, owner of Southsea Cycles, and his son Max Watkins, also took part.

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Kevin Watkins pedals his son Max, seven, and Emma Strong in his cargo bike Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 060621-37)

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While out on their hour and a half cycle, the team stopped at several women-owned local businesses, meeting Annabel Innes, director of Form+Function, who is leading the regeneration of Orchard Park and co-director of the Covid-19 Arts Covid campaign 2020, Roni Edwards, director of the Pamodzi Awards, including the Inspirational Women of Portsmouth annual awards, and Sarah Brown, founder of the Eco Warriors Club at Meon Junior School.

The cyclists also met Charla Grant, founder of the Grateful Hearts Club.

Emma said: ‘It went really well, it was lovely to pop in and see the businesswomen.

From left, Cllr George Fielding, activist Paula Ann Savage, Emma Strong from World Bicycle Relief, Cllr Charlotte Gerada and Southsea Cycles shop owner Kevin Watkins with his son Max, seven Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 060621-)

‘It was a really lovely atmosphere as we were cycling around and talking about the city and the charity.

‘We started in 2012 after the Olympics.

‘Now we’re looking to expand and reaching out to the community.

‘I’d like to thank the councillors for taking part, and the four local inspirational women we met on the cycle.’

Kevin Watkins pedals his son Max, 7, and Emma Strong in his cargo bike Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 060621-36)

Find out more about World Bicycle Relief at

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Paula Ann Savage and Cllr George Fielding Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 060621-38)