A NEW bike track has been unveiled for children with additional support needs in the Southside. 

Action for Children's Stoneside Family Support service, on Stoneside Drive, has launched the securely enclosed bike track after a year of hard work.

The service, which supports around 40 children and young people with complex disabilities through short breaks and long-term care, has served as a home and source of fun for over 20 years.

Bike track - beforeBike track - before (Image: Supplied)

After seeing the enthusiasm among the young people for cycling, including one young man saving his monthly pocket money to buy a new bike, the charity has acted to allow them to take part safely. 

The project was made possible by long standing supporter of the charity, Sandy Martin, who offered landscape design and project management expertise from his business, Sandy Martin Landscapes, as well as sourcing several donations from local suppliers for the charity.

(Image: Supplied)

Speaking at the opening, Sandy Martin, founder and owner of Sandy Marin Landscapes, said: "It was a pleasure to be involved in this exciting project which started over a cup of tea with Laura Fogg, the Stoneside Family Support Service manager during an Action for Children event.

"Once the seed was planted, I was able to consider how to contribute and get the project up and running.

"In working on the bike track, I called on various friends in business and life who generously gave their support to make the service’s dream come true.

"After the initial cost Action for Children was quoted by other businesses was not feasible, I could see early on how the bike track could become reality.

"Using some creativity and thanks to the generosity of my suppliers and friends we were able to deliver well beyond even our expectations.

"For me and my team at Sandy Martin Landscapes it was a delight to work with the charity to create this new fun activity for the children and young people the charity supports."

In addition to the track, the charity also received a set of new bikes fit for the specific needs of the young people donated by WooHoo Events, Bike for Good and Denholm Energy.

L-R) Fiona Steel – National Director for Scotland at Action for Children, Sandy Martin - founder and owner of Sandy Marin Landscapes, and Flora Martin – Action for Children Ambassador. (Image: Supplied)

Fiona Steel, national director for Scotland at Action for Children, added: "The impact of the new bike track only became more apparent when I saw the first young person do a lap around it, fit with a big smile and bow to finish. 

"The young people who use Stoneside Family Support Service often have range of support needs including children who are non-verbal and our care helps them to regulate their emotional responses and behaviours, so a safe outdoor space is an important addition to the time they spend at Action for Children.  

"For some young people, Action for Children is their home so it’s my job to make sure the love, care and support we provide gives them the best start in life.

"It’s a proud moment to see the tangible difference our new bike track will make."