The Big Bike Revival – Hardie Cycle Hub offers free servicing for keyworkers

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KEY workers in SS17 on the front-line saving lives in the fight against coronavirus can benefit from free services for their bikes thanks to Hardie Cycle Hub at Hardie Park in Stanford le Hope which has joined a scheme run by Cycling UK.

Hardie Cycle Hub received a grant of £1250 to deliver key worker essential services and repairs during the coronavirus crisis. The project was among more than 120 projects to successfully apply for grants of up to £3,000 to give essential practical support
to enable those working in key sectors to use a bicycle to travel to work or for exercise.

The Big Bike Revival for Key Workers project has seen the national cycling charity work with partners throughout England/Scotland providing free maintenance checks and bike loans to enable frontline workers to keep riding through the crisis.

Rob Groves, CEO of Hardie Park said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Big Bike Revival for Key Workers and are providing free bike services to help keep essential staff on the road.

The Hardie Cycle Hub reopened in April, following unprecedented demand during lockdown and have now recycled more than 100 donated bikes, which are helping people stay fit and active. This keyworker servicing scheme highlighted that we could do more to help those who are helping others. We have implemented many measures to ensure the safety of staff and customers and welcome key workers to apply.

If you happen to have any unwanted bikes in the shed or garage, please bear us in mind, your donations are very welcome at this time. We are happy to pick up in the local area.”

Jacqueline Flint, banking sector keyworker recently had her free service at the Hardie Cycle Hub, she said ‘I enjoy running but I’m limited to the local area, now I have my bike fixed I can go further afield and get more mileage under my belt. That’s good for my health and the
option of riding my bike to work is better for the environment. It’s a win win for me. What a great scheme, thank you’.

Veronique Surry-Kaise, teacher said, ‘I’m grateful to the hub for the recent free service on my bike. I will now be able to ride confidently knowing my bike has been checked over. Cycling is a great form of exercise that helps keeps me fit and healthy. Well done to ‘Cycling UK’ for funding the service.’

The project builds on the previous success of the Big Bike Revival which has been running for five years and encourages people with barriers to cycling to learn new skills and rediscover cycling. Bike shops and recycling centres taking part in this year’s event have adjusted their offerings to support the key workers to ride through bike services and checks, bike loan schemes, pop-up Dr Bike sessions at hospitals and supermarkets and free equipment including locks and helmets and advice on keeping bikes safe and secure.

Jenny Box, Cycling UK’s Head of Behaviour Change and Development in England said: “The effects of this pandemic have changed much of our way of life in just a few weeks. Many people have discovered their old bicycle at the back of the shed or borrowed one from neighbours or family.

“The Big Bike Revival enables those key workers who need to use a bicycle to travel to work or to stay fit and healthy to access free services so they feel more confident about getting on two wheels.

“We have had an incredible response from independent bike shops, recycling centres and bike mechanics all wanting to use their unrivalled expertise to help those who do such vital work protecting lives.”

Cycling UK has also launched a free three-month membership offer for NHS staff, with a total of 2,000 people having signed up for so far, enabling them to access third-party insurance cover and free legal advice to provide peace of mind on their journey to and from their workplace.

The charity is aware that cycling has been playing a key role in supporting essential workers to get to work during the current climate. It can also reduce the need to use public transport where they can find it difficult to stay distanced from others. For many frontline
workers, the restorative effect of cycling helps them not to feel too tired physical and emotionally and to be able to work longer hours covering for absent colleagues.

The Big Bike Revival is funded by the Department of Transport/Transport Scotland and will run until the end of July. More details are available at: www.cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival

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