Hardie Park helps key workers get back on their bikes

KEY workers in the Stanford-le-Hope area who are on the front-line saving lives in the fight against coronavirus can benefit from free services for their bikes thanks to Hardie Cycle Hub in the town’s Hardie Park in 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.

Rob Groves, CEO of Hardie Park – which has a number of local sponsors and supporters including the Co-ops in Stanford High Street and Gardner avenue, Corringham, 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.”

Keyworker Jacqueline Flint

Local teacher Veronique Surry-Kaise, who recently completed a swimming, cycling and running Ironman triathlon, is another to benefit and 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.

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.

For more information regarding free key worker bike servicing at Hardie Cycle Hub, contact the Friends on 07935 868835 - (Hardie Park, Hardie Road, Stanford-le-Hope, SS17 0PB)

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