Cycling charity donates its 100th bike to Bedford NHS key workers

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Sustrans NHS bike donation
Pictured: Mayor Dave Hodgson, Chloe Crowther, Sustrans active travel officer, Anu Kurian Elavunkal, staff nurse at Bedford Hospital, and Debbie Inskip Chairperson of Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends. Photo credit: Scott Brimley, Bedford College (photo was taken before the current national restrictions came into force)

Sustrans, the cycling charity, is celebrating its 100th free bike donation to NHS key workers through Bedford Borough Council.

The handover to Anu, a staff nurse at Bedford Hospital, took place earlier this month, before the new lockdown restrictions can into force.

The ‘pay it forward’ scheme has seen bikes donated from different sources including Govia Thameslink, Bedfordshire Police and through several ‘give your bike a new life’ events where the Bedford public donated their unused bikes.

Each of the bikes was given a thorough once-over by mechanics and volunteers from Sustrans and Bedford Park Rotary Club to ensure the bikes were cleaned, repaired and made roadworthy.

Thanks to 25 volunteers from Sustrans staff and Bedford Borough Council staff, these bikes have been donated to 100 key workers from the NHS, helping to shorten the commutes of local key workers, as well as helping them to get more exercise, and travel in a greener way.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said, “It was great to be at the donation of the 100th bike to Anu, a staff nurse at Bedford Hospital.

“A massive thank you must go to everyone who donated their unwanted bike, and to all the individuals and organisations involved in getting them fixed up and out to key workers in our NHS.”

Debbie Inskip, chairperson of Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends, said, “It has been wonderful to meet all of the staff at Bedford Hospital who have been working hard throughout lockdown, and to be able to reward them with a free bike.

“We’ve really enjoyed hearing their stories about how the new bike has improved their fitness levels, reduced their commute time and enabled them to save money on their commute.”

Sustrans staff are hoping to continue with the project but always require more bikes.

If you have a bike you no longer use and would like to see it go to a good home, please contact bedford@sustrans.org.uk.

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