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Case Study Steven - Walking with Wheels

Steven - Walking with Wheels

Steven Gregory from Ruardean has been involved with the Walking with Wheels project for around five years, first as a user, and more recently as project Leader Nick Penny’s go to person for promotional support! In his own words, Steven tells us about the difference this project has made to his life.

Steven’s involvement with the Walking with Wheels project really took off in October 2019 when he attended the launch of the Speech House hire location and the naming of Tramper ‘Belle’.  “I played the role of lead photographer – I was there to capture the ceremony, photograph a Tramper user, and the cutting of the cake with Nicola Bell (sponsor) and the owners of the Speech House Hotel.” 

Steven had previously supported the project with photography for the Walking with Wheels leaflet, using images from Symonds Yat Rock (one of the locations within safe reach from the Forest Holiday’s hire point).  Steven’s images have also been used on our exhibition panels and also in the local press.

“In September ’21 Nick contacted me and asked if I could support Foresters’ Forest and promote the Tramper at the Forest Showcase at Speech House on October 3rd.  When I was asked to do this, I was nervous but more so excited about the prospect of promoting the project.  Throughout the day I felt proud, I could feel my confidence building and also my self-esteem.  I volunteered for the whole day with just a short break for my lunch.  Throughout the day I must have interacted with over 120 people – offering both information and a chance to try the Tramper. I was able to explain the functions of the Tramper, its dual grip throttle control, the safety features such as its horn, indicators, lights and tortoise and hare speed modes.  I was also able to allow people to have a go within the safety of the Foresters’ Forest event area – those in a hurry did not escape – I was armed with leaflets and business cards to ensure they left with the relevant information!

I was able to share my own experience having been a Tramper user during my personal recovery – this helped to build trust and confidence with those that I was talking with a belief in the Trampers ability for off road exploration.  Over the years this had a positive impact on my own health and wellbeing.  I was also able to promote the Tramper around the site as it was my preferred method of moving about!”

When reflecting on the event Steve commented “when I think back I just feel so proud of myself in that I was able to complete that day with no signs of anxiety and nervousness.  I believe my enthusiasm and detailed introduction to Walking with Wheels will have raised awareness of the project and inspired people to book a Tramper and get outdoors.”

Following this newfound confidence Steve went on to promote the Walking with Wheels Project on BBC Radio Gloucestershire with Kate Clark.  “This involved me taking a Tramper into the Cyril Hart Arboretum whilst recording audio for the radio.  I started at the point of the induction to the Tramper which was expertly delivered by Hannah Worgan of the Speech House Hotel before setting off into the Arboretum using my phone to capture the wildlife sounds and rustling of leaves as I moved along.  Following this I talked live on air with Kate Clarke and Nick Penny about the wider benefits of the Trampers in the Forest of Dean.

If I hadn’t had found the Walking with Wheels Project to focus on, I don’t know where I would be now.  This project has also led to me doing my own photography from which I take Great Comfort.  Recently I have set up a website and held a stall at the Ruardean Village Hall Christmas Bazaar, and I am currently on a Look Again Mindful Photography course which is supported by the Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF).

I am so proud and pleased that the Walking with Wheel project will continue at the end of the Foresters’ Forest programme, and I would love to stay involved, supporting with photography and attendance at events”.

Nick Penny, project leader, added “Steven has been an absolute hero with regards to his support for the project.  Through his own lived experience of using the Tramper to support his health and wellbeing he is a Great Ambassador for the difference exploring the outdoors can make.  It has been so rewarding to watch Steve’s confidence grow over the 18 months or so that I have known him, and we look forward to many more years with Steve, his camera and general enthusiasm supporting Walking with Wheels”.

The project is set to continue for a further three years with the current hire locations of the Speech House Hotel and Forest Holidays, and talks are underway with Forestry England about a potential third site to be introduced in Spring 2023.

To hire a Tramper see: Walking with Wheels


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