Harrie Larrington-Spencer with her bike. PhD researcher at the University of Salford

A Salford PhD student with a disability is fundraising to improve cycling accessibility in Greater Manchester.

Harrie Larrington-Spencer’s Crowdfunder has received over £10,000 in donations to buy e-trikes to loan to disabled people.

Two years ago, Harrie was left with a brachial plexus injury after a car collided with her whilst she was cycling.

She said: “I couldn’t cycle in the same way, but cycling was still important, so I became very focused on making sure that everyone who wants to cycle can and also that they can do it safely.”

Harrie Larrington-Spencer standing with her bike. She is a PhD researcher at the University of Salford.
Harrie Larrington-Spencer, 30, started the Crowdfunder in mid-November 2020 and is a PhD researcher at the University of Salford. (Image: Sanny Rudravajhala)

Generosity during tough times

With limited use of her left arm and suffering from chronic pain, the 30-year-old invested in a trike to make cycling easier.

Aware of their prohibitive cost for many, however, she started the Crowdfunder to give others a chance to use one.

The money will pay for several e-trikes, as well as fund their upkeep for a number of years.

And Harrie appreciates the donations that are coming through during this difficult financial climate.

She said: “I was very reluctant to ask people to support, because so many people are really suffering.

I think it reflects very well on the cycling community as well, and the generosity both within Greater Manchester and beyond.”

Harry Gray, 24, lives in Islington, Salford and leads Walk Ride Salford Central. (Image: Sanny Rudravajhala)

Access for all

The fundraiser is in partnership with the campaign group, Walk Ride Greater Manchester.

Its lead for Salford Central, Harry Gray, says that whilst Harrie represents the changing face of cycling, better promoting inclusivity should be a priority.

The 24-year-old fashion entrepreneur said: “We see a lot of parts of Salford have barriers to entry…

Cycling is for everybody and we should be bringing everybody with us.”

Harrie Larrington-Spence and Harry Gray from Walk Ride Greater Manchester
Harrie (left) and Harry (right) are both members of the campaign group, Walk Ride Greater Manchester. (Image: Sanny Rudravajhala)

Salford City Council’s Cycling champion, Councillor Jim Cammell wants to link Harrie to the council-funded Salford Community Voluntary Services (CVS).

He said: “[It’s] brilliant. It’s a fantastic project… we can get in touch with CVS and see what else the council can do to help.”

Councillor Jim Cammell, speaking on zoom about cycling accessibility
Labour Councillor Jim Cammell, has been in office since May 2019, representing the Swinton South Ward. (Image: Sanny Rudravajhala)

Reflecting on the fundraiser’s success, Harrie added: “Cycling for me is joyful, so to be able to share that with others is just a lovely thing to do.”

Harrie Larrington-Spencer trying out a trike in York
Harrie trying out a pedal operated trike in York earlier this year. (Image: Harrie Larrington Spencer)

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