Bikes for NHS scheme launched in St Helens
St Helens Council is working in partnership with Saints Community Foundation; Community Integrated Care (CIC) and Pedal Power – a local volunteer-led initiative – to deliver a Bikes for NHS campaign.
The scheme - which is funded by Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival programme - aims to provide more than 50 free bike loans to NHS staff at Whiston, St Helens and Newton hospitals as an alternative means to public transport.
Stewart Walsh from Cycling UK explains that this is one of a number of initiatives to deliver loan bikes to frontline workers across all of Merseyside.
“This scheme is unique in that it brings together a number of voluntary groups who provide cycling opportunities to the local area and beyond,” Stewart said.
“As well as Pedal Power - who in normal times run multiple rides from a number of hubs dotted around St Helens - we are working with the BikeShed, a charity who take donated bikes and upgrade them to provide them free of charge to local people.
“There has never been a better time to use a bike as the roads are a lot quieter and the air quality is significantly improved.”
St Helens Council Leader David Baines, who is supporting the Bikes for NHS initiative, said: “It is great to see how our local communities have come together to deliver meaningful projects that enable real change for key workers.
“With the need to socially distance, Cycling UK, The BikeShed, St Helens Pedal Power, Saints Community Foundation, CIC and St Helens Council have worked together to offer over 50 loan bikes to frontline workers as part of a wider project to offer alternatives to public transport.
“This is a great example of cross-team working, breaking down barriers and delivering to a common goal that will reduce the risk of infection and help people to stay fit and enjoy cycling.”
Steve Leonard, Saints Community Development Foundations Director, said: "We are immensely proud to be working with fantastic charities and groups such as Community Integrated Care, St Helens Council and Pedal Power to deliver this scheme to local NHS workers.
"We are delighted to be making a positive difference within our very own community, helping valuable NHS key workers to get to and from work with a means of transport.”
To enquire about loaning a bike, go to www.facebook.com/StHelensPedalPower/ and fill in a short application form.