Coronavirus Appeal Stories: On Your Bike

On Your Bike is a social enterprise that delivers training and work placements for disadvantaged young people, giving them the skills and confidence to move into employment through recycling and repairing unwanted bikes and selling them back to the local community.

Roger Habgood, the charity’s Chair, told us how a £2,750 grant from our Somerset Coronavirus Appeal is helping local NHS staff to get to work.

“We applied for funding to create a new scheme offering NHS workers free bike hire and all the kit they need to stay safe; a helmet, lights, and high-vis jacket.

We used the grant to purchase a fleet of new bikes and have added good quality bikes that have been donated to us and that we have refurbished.

The response from the public has been fantastic. We’ve had over 100 donated bikes in the last four weeks which we’ll be able to refurbish and either give out to more NHS workers, or sell in our shop to fund our continued work supporting disadvantaged young people to build a brighter future. We’re working with a skeleton staff at the moment and operating a booking system so we can safely support customers buying bikes alongside key workers. We would love to extend our offer to help other groups particularly Care Workers and other essential workers if we are able.

For the NHS workers we have supported, it gives them convenience and means they don’t have to rely on public transport. This is particularly important when they are working different shifts when public transport may not be available. One person who received a bike is working in operating theatres and parking is not always guaranteed, so going by bike gives her the freedom and flexibility to get there on her own terms.

Another told us that working 12-13 hour shifts meant they don’t have time to exercise, so the bike is helping them to get their exercise on their way to and from work. It’s great to be able to help them look after their own health and wellbeing as well as doing a wonderful job looking after their patients.”

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