Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman met with staff from Basildon Hospital and Basildon Council at an event to help improve wellbeing and physical activity.
The event showed the impact a free bike giveaway scheme has had on the staff who received the bikes earlier this year.
Of the 69 staff who were given bicycle under the Essex Pedal Power project, 35 have been tracked and they have made almost 1,000 trips, travelled nearly 1,400 kilometres, and reduced carbon emissions by almost 200 kilograms.
Chris, a former cycling world champion, gave staff some valuable tips about cycling and wellness, with many seizing the opportunity to take photos with the former champion athlete.
Fiona Ryan, Managing Director at the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, of which Basildon Hospital is a part, said: “Essex Pedal Power is an innovative scheme that offered Basildon Hospital staff a sustainable and cost-free means of travel. The project was a big success because of the collaborative effort of Basildon Council, Essex County Council and staff from our award-winning Anchor Programme. The presence of Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman added an inspiring touch to the successful scheme.”
The free bike giveaway programme was organised by the Essex Pedal Power project, in collaboration with The Active Wellbeing Society, Essex County Council, of Find Your Active Basildon (FYAB), Sport England, Basildon Borough Council and Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
Deborah Shynn, Patient Pathway Coordinator at the Trust, was one of those who received a bike. She said: “It’s been such a joy using my Pedal Power bike over the summer months not just to and from work but using it in other parts of my daily activities. It’s been great to use my car less and it makes me feel good that I’m doing a little bit for the environment.”
Scott Logan, Chief Executive of Basildon Council, said: “We are grateful to Chris Boardman, Chair of Sport England, for coming to Basildon as we reviewed the progress of FYAB.
“It was great to receive endorsement of the partnership’s work from such an influential figure. Partners talked at length about how we can strengthen FYAB to continue delivering for years to come, making a real difference in local people’s lives. The partnership continues to work together to be much more than the sum of its parts, embedding activity so that it becomes something we naturally do instead of something we talk about.”