Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: Why I cycle into work at Newham Hospital | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: Why I cycle into work at Newham Hospital

Stevie Clifford-Tucker blog picture
  • Fire safety advisor at Barts Health talks about the improvements to his wellbeing he's experienced cycling into work from driving and taking advantage of the Brompton bike scheme
  • Stevie outlines six key benefits he's had for his wellbeing from switching modes of transport
  • Find out what active travel options are available to you at Barts Health after you've finished reading his blog!

I learned about the Brompton Bike hire scheme from Newham Hospital Wellbeing lead Catriona Rowland, who if anyone has met will know is very convincing when it comes to all matters relating to wellbeing! I’m so glad she told me about the scheme for so many reasons!

I grew up in Newham and was born at Newham Hospital. It’s fair to say that some might not consider Newham to be the most picturesque area to travel into work through!

However, coming in on the bike has given me a whole different perspective. You notice things that you would normally drive past every day without paying attention to and can appreciate them a little bit more as a result; the fresh air - the sound of the wildlife – even the sound of everyone else rushing around you is nice to not be a part of. Being able to cycle past all of that is great and cycling past Newham leisure centre football pitches brings back a lot of nostalgia for great childhood memories.

My role often has me at multiple sites in one day, cycling from Newham to Mile End or The Royal London respectively. Cycling to the latter in particular is an easy and safe route using the Greenway and cycle lanes, plus as a West Ham fan, cycling straight towards West Ham’s London Stadium is something that puts a positive vibe on my day. Those routes are also definitely quicker than using public transport or driving.

For me there were so many reasons I should have been cycling. For example:

  1. Fitness. I need to fit into a wedding suit later this year that I purchased two years ago thanks to two postponements (third time lucky!). You don’t have to be super fit to cycle, the beauty of cycling is you’re in control of your own pace but you will definitely get fitter and fitter the more you cycle.
  2. Alertness. I think sometimes we go into autopilot when driving. It’s not as easy to do that when cycling in. I find I have time to think about my day ahead and often come in ready to go and not needing a coffee quite as much to get me going.
  3. Cost. With the rising cost of fuel and public transport only going up and the added expense of parking, cycling doesn’t cost anything apart from the upfront cost of a bike and helmet. The Brompton bike scheme is great and Facebook Marketplace or eBay have cheap second-hand bikes you could buy as an alternative option.
  4. Time. Depending on where you’re travelling in from it can be quicker when you take into consideration the time it takes to walk to the bus or train station and wait for one to arrive. If it doesn’t save time on the journey, I promise you will have had time to think about the day in front of you and feel like you’ve saved time.
  5. Carbon footprint. We are all becoming more aware of the positive impact we can have on the environment and this is a really simple one.
  6. Weather. I’m brave speaking about the English weather but the best time of year to get into cycling is now!

I hope this has inspired some of you to get your bikes out of your garden sheds, dust them off and cycle into work!

Stevie Clifford-Tucker is a Fire Safety Advisor at Barts Health.

Read more: 

  • Read about the active travel options available to you at Barts Health here.

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