Staff from the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are showing their support to the Trust’s sustainability agenda by putting the wheels in motion and cycling to work.
Three members of the assertive outreach team, which is based at Folly Hall Mill in Huddersfield, are opting for pedal power and taking advantage of the Bikes for the NHS scheme to buy a tax free bike.
The Trust is fully committed to being a socially responsible organisation, introducing measures that reduce or offset its environmental impact. This includes encouraging members of staff to cycle to work.
To support this it has joined a cost-free cycle to work initiative which is run by Bikes for the NHS. The scheme allows staff to buy a tax free bicycle at the same time as reducing their own carbon footprint. This not only links in with the Trust’s ambition to become more sustainable, but it also links with the wellbeing at work agenda – helping staff to become more physically active.
The bicycles are funded through a lease that is set up for staff. With the lease option, there is no cost to the Trust and payments are made through monthly payroll deductions. In all cases, ownership transfers to the employee at the end of the scheme.
Since moving to Folly Hall in December community psychiatric nurses Craig Mitchell, Ian Lee and Martin O’Hara, who are keen cyclists, have been able to make use of modern shower facilities and bike racks to secure their bikes during the day.
Using the expertise of a service user who had a keen interest in cycling Craig was able to get kitted up with a bicycle that suited his needs for journeys around Huddersfield via the bike scheme.
Speaking about the scheme Craig said, “We’re all wheely enthusiastic about the scheme! I have saved about £30 a week by making these journeys to work on my bike, but it’s not just saving me money. I have saved a lot of time using my bike as I’m no longer sat queuing in traffic and that’s not to mention reducing my waistline! By using the bike scheme I was able to buy a better, safer bike to ensure my journey to work would be safe. I think we all need to lead by example and while it might not be suitable for all staff to cycle to work, those of us who can could make a big difference to the carbon footprint of the Trust.”
All three strongly believe that as health care professionals they should act as role models to their clients, promoting healthier lifestyles. They are now looking into ways they can incorporate cycling into their everyday work and hope to be able to explore the possibility of using a bike to make home visits.
You can find out more about the scheme online at www.bikesforthenhs.co.uk