CLCH staff keep two wheels in motion on Cycle to Work Day
Today (Thursday 5 August 2021) is Cycle to Work Day, and CLCH are supporting the UK's largest cycle commuting event by encouraging people to try cycling – even if only for one day. Every year, we’ve seen thousands of enthusiastic riders hit the streets to celebrate everyday cycling.
Cycling has numerous advantages: it improves health and fitness, it can improve your mental health and wellbeing by spending more time outdoors; it is more environmentally friendly and it’s fun!
Many short journeys are quicker by bike than by car and with the ongoing improvements to bike lane infrastructure it’s getting even easier to travel by bike than ever before.
Mike Griffin, our Specialist Occupational Therapist at Pembridge Hospice, is one of the CLCH Green Champions who is passionate about cycling and regularly rides his bike to work. Mike rides his Brompton bike to all of his patient appointments, come rain or shine. "The benefits are clear," Mike explained, "when I have clinical placement students, the majority of whom use public transportation, comparing travel times shows that it saves 30-60 minutes per visit."
We also caught up with Zöe Bloomfield, our Clinical Business Unit Manager in the South West, Children’s division. To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week, Zoe shares her story of how she began commuting by cycling into work across Kensington and Chelsea in 2007, and how she continued cycling between patient visits and meetings when she was breastfeeding her first child for 12 to 13 months. She discovered that cycling was a faster way to get around London and made her feel better, as well as allowing her to see more of the city. “The local authorities offered free bike maintenance training (how to change a tyre/oil the chain, etc.) at the time, and the police used to run regular bike/traffic awareness sessions during commuting hours in traffic hot spots, asking cyclists on their commute to take five minutes to sit in a lorry to understand blind spots, which helped me a lot.
We were in the midst of a pandemic when I returned from maternity leave, so I have been working from home, but I take the opportunity to cycle after a long day of virtual meetings.” After giving birth to her second child, Zoe received the COVID-19 vaccine in March 2021 and continued breastfeeding her daughter until she was 17 months old, with no symptoms. She encourages all mothers to get vaccinated and continue breastfeeding or giving their expressed milk as it produces specific antibodies in as little as a few weeks, which may give some protection against the virus.
Tom Wright, Sustainability Director and Green Plan lead, said: "Green sustainability is a key strategic priority for CLCH. As part of our Green plan, the Trust is committed to supporting and promoting cycling for better health, and environmental benefit including improving local air quality, so we have compiled a number of schemes for staff to take advantage of."
- Staff who cycle on their own bicycle in the course of their work can claim a cycle mileage rate of 20p per mile. For details on how to claim cycle mileage complete the Designated Bicycle User Application E-Form
- CLCH offer access to the Cycle Scheme allowing staff to buying a bike using a salary sacrifice scheme. To find out more and apply see: Cyclescheme - get a bike
Love to ride? Take part in the UK’s biggest cycle commuting event and share your ride with the online community. Visit: https://www.cycletoworkday.org/.
Learn about the Trust's Green Travel and Transportation Plans and future initiatives here.