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Govia Thameslink Railway has released information about the abandoned bikes being donated to NHS key workers. Around 40 abandoned bicycles have been given to the staff of NHS Bikeability instructors, thanks to a scheme by Southern Rail.
Every month at the Southern Railway maintenance depot in Horsham, bikes are left for the owners to come to recover them.
Some of the bikes are not claimed so Southern’s Community Engagement team have given the bikes to the NHS staff to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work.
Southern approached the county council’s Bikeability team and other partners to set up the renovation and donation scheme.
Ed Clark, Cyclist Training Development Officer, said: “We’ve had a team of six working on this project for about six weeks now: these are Bikeability instructors who, if it wasn’t for the Coronavirus outbreak, would be working in schools and colleges, so instead are working from home, renovating bikes.”
Some of the bikes need a quick check over, whilst others need some spare which take a few days to arrive.
The bikes were matched up with the NHS staff by the NHS Trusts and then delivered to the recipients by the Bikeablilty team.
Ed said: “The reaction and feedback when I’ve delivered bikes has been really positive. They were all frontline NHS staff who, after their work indoors, wanted to be out in the open for their journeys home and this has allowed them to do that.”
Fiona Sayers, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, received one of the bicycles. Fiona said: “I use it nearly every day and I love it! I have already felt the health benefits. Instead of driving my car to work in Worthing, or the shops, etc, I will now use my bicycle to get around.”
The team at the Bikeability will be continuing their repair work for the NHS bikes following the government’s guidelines, this week, which is national Bike Week (6 to 14 June).
Tom Moran, the executive sponsor for the scheme at Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “It’s really fantastic that our initiative with the Bikeability team is transforming the lives of nurses and other key NHS workers. We have worked directly with local NHS trusts in Sussex to match the renovated bikes with specific nurses and other health workers who will really benefit from them. At a time of great national challenge, we are proud to help keep Britain moving by supporting everyone who still needs to travel by rail. Now, more than ever is a time when we all need good neighbours, to stay connected, and help each other out.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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