Two staff members at the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West have become the first at the temporary hospital to receive bikes to get to and from work under the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Sustainable Journeys programme, supported by GM Moving.
Simone Mattis, a domestic and porter supervisor, and Dan Todoranov, a cleaner, both work at the temporary hospital for facilities management company Interserve. They received their Halfords bikes this week, helping them get to work while keeping fit and helping keep air pollution levels low.
Simone, 43, a mum-of-four from Chorlton, said: “I start very early so the first tram of the day would still result in me being late for my shift every day. I want to really dedicate myself to the hospital, so this was a real worry for me. Everyone at the Nightingale has been really supportive, and they approached me to see if the TfGM bike scheme could help.
“I’m so grateful to receive this new bike to use – it’ll be so much easier to get to and from a job I’m really enjoying. The team’s brilliant and everyone just pulls together to help each other.”
Dan, 35, from Wythenshawe, said: “I was working in a gym in Sale before the lockdown started, so I had a lot of exercise then, and now I really need to get a good workout for my legs! It’s eight miles from my house to work so I’m really looking forward to getting my fitness back up.
“I had worked as a cleaning supervisor in Cambridge before I moved back to Manchester, so working at the Nightingale is perfect for me. I couldn’t stay at home and not do anything when the gym closed – I need to be working and talking to people. It’s a really great, supportive atmosphere.”
TfGM has adapted its previous bike provision and loan offers to directly target NHS staff who, like everyone, are encouraged not to use public transport at this time. Bikes and safety equipment have been made available to these staff for their essential journeys, working closely with a number of hospitals including the Nightingale.
TfGM’s Cycling and Walking Director, Richard Nickson said: “Under the current restrictions, we have seen the role of cycling and walking increase in importance, as people are not only using these modes for daily exercise, but also for the journey to work and also as a mental break. The Sustainable Journeys team has worked with a number of partners to provide over 450 bikes and we’re proud to support incredible NHS workers such as Dan and Simone as they care for others.”
Sheni Ravji-Smith, Organisational Development and Staff Wellbeing Lead at NHS Nightingale Hospital North West, said: “We want to do everything we can to support our fabulous staff, and we have received fantastic support from all over Greater Manchester and beyond. The availability of these bikes from TfGM makes an enormous difference to our staff, and we are very grateful to them for including us in their scheme.”