HYPE Merseyside has pledged to provide hire bikes to NHS staff across Merseyside hospitals, as a means of supporting the current fight against COVID-19.
It will be delivering 100 bikes to frontline NHS workers over the next month, after its initial offer to staff from Arrowe Park Hospital was met by an “overwhelming response”. 60 applications for the first 100 bikes were received in just 48 hours from NHS employees living within five miles of the hospital.
HYPE is now inviting other NHS workers from Merseyside to apply for a bike and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £20,000 to help it deliver even more bikes to members of the 50,000+ NHS staff community across the region.
“We believe that the NHS staff working tirelessly across the region in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak are true heroes, the real ‘pride of Merseyside’ and we wanted to find a way to show our appreciation and help them during this crisis,” said Matthew Houghton, chief executive at HYPE Merseyside.
“Providing 100 bikes from our existing fleet was an immediate and obvious way that we could help. However, it quickly became clear that the demand was far greater than our initial supply. With the help of the people of Merseyside, we can use our network and expertise to go even further and source more bikes, providing more frontline workers with free, healthy and safe transport.”
The bike donations will allow recipients to travel for free and avoid having to use public transport while travelling to work during the pandemic. It is also hoped that the campaign will encourage frontline workers and the wider community to use cycling as a way of staying fit and healthy.
All money raised from the crowdfunding campaign will be spent on buying more bikes and repairing those donated by the public, ready to be provided to NHS workers across Merseyside.
Julie Barnes, lead commissioner for transport and technology at Wirral Council, added: “The innovative scheme, launched by HYPE, is helping our amazing NHS staff on the frontline during this uncertain time, including those at Arrowe Park, Wirral.
“It is important that we all look after one another during the ongoing COVID-19 situation and I am delighted that a sustainable, healthy and free option is being made available for those who need to travel for work. I’d like to encourage all our NHS workers to take this opportunity and apply for one of these bikes and thank them as they continue to help us to fight this virus.”
Members of the public can support HYPE Merseyside’s campaign by either making a donation via the crowdfunding page or contacting them directly to donate any unwanted bikes that they may have. The organisation will be collecting unwanted bikes from homes across the region throughout April and May.
“We want bikes that are too big, too small, rusty or those that you simply don’t have space for anymore,” added Houghton. “Our team will be happy you collect them, repair them and give them a new lease of life before handing them over to one of our local NHS heroes.”
The company’s plan is to provide more bikes to NHS staff within the next six months from its refurbished and recycled stock. Each recipient will retain the donated bike until the end of the year, after which they will be absorbed back into HYPE Merseyside’s fleet of hire bikes, for use in its community activities. Any additional money raised beyond the organisation’s crowdfunder target will be donated to NHS Charitable trusts.
If you are an NHS worker in Merseyside and would like to apply for a bike, please complete HYPE’s online form.
To donate to HYPE Merseyside’s crowdfunding campaign visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bikes-for-nhs