NHS Dumfries & Galloway

NHS staff in Dumfries & Galloway are taking advantage of two-wheeled pedal power to get to work in a healthy and sustainable way during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cycling Scotland, Sustrans and Cycling UK have joined forces and are assisting NHS Dumfries & Galloway to provide healthcare workers with a wide range of support that covers bike access, training and equipment.

There are many free opportunities for NHS staff to make their cycling commute easier, or possible in the first place:

  • spare bikes can be temporarily donated and then lent out for free to the staff who need them
  • free bike services, maintenance and safety checks are available
  • copies of Essential Cycling Skills booklets are available to help them brush up on cycling skills and gain extra confidence on the roads
  • staff can seek advice on cycle routes, as well as engage with the local bike shop G&G Cycles

With support from the three partners, the bike shop recently delivered bike maintenance at the Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary, with over 25 staff bringing their bikes for repair.

Katie, a junior doctor at the Infirmary said: “It’s so great to see so many people able to take advantage of this service.  It can really difficult to get to the bike shop at the best of times with some of our shift patterns, never mind during Covid-19 so this resource is invaluable for keeping staff pedalling”.

Ka Hou, one of the junior doctors working in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary said, "I found out about this bike loan scheme from one of my colleagues in hospital. I was so excited and immediately signed up for it. And it's been life-changing, literally. Now I have been cycling to work, to do grocery shopping and to exercise. Cycling has become an integral part of my life now especially during these stressful times. Not only is it a form of exercise for me, it has also given me the chance to explore this beautiful region of Scotland. I enjoy every single moment I spend on the bike, and have now returned the bike and got my own new bike. I hope more people would benefit from this bike loan scheme and turn into a cycling addict like me! And thanks again, Cycling Scotland!"

John from G&G Cycles said: “The enthusiasm and energy around cycling is more than I could ever have hoped for.  With so many feeling now is the time to pedal our way out of this.  The NHS staff we met today are a credit to society, dealing with the day-to-day as professionals do, but also talking to them about their bikes and everyone was smiling and looking to a bright future.”

Josh at Cycling Scotland said; “Being able to support NHS staff with their daily cycling during this pandemic has been a pleasure with lots of people rediscovering cycling after many years.  Working collaboratively with the council other active travel delivery partners in the region has enabled us to meet this unprecedented demand for cycles.”

The work with the NHS and Dumfries and Galloway Council is supported by Cycling Scotland, Sustrans and Cycling UK and has seen these organisations work collaboratively together to get 18 bikes out to NHS staff on long term loan to date.

To get involved or find out more, get in touch with Josh Wood at joshwood@cycling.scot or 07563555054.