Te aronga ki te tangata
An initiative to support and encourage cycling has taken off at Forté Health – and the bike sheds are full as a result!
The initiative was the brainchild of Forté Health recovery unit nurse Pip Hope, who established the Forté Bike Group in January this year.
“A staff survey found a number of people were interested in biking to work but for various reasons had never taken the plunge. I saw that as an opportunity to develop a fun, interactive group to motivate and support people to make the change from four wheels to two – and it’s worked!” says Pip.
Forté Health’s management team lent their support to the initiative. Welcome packs were provided to those who signed up to the Forté Bike Group, which included a hi-vis vest, puncture repair kit and under-seat saddlebag for their bike. For those who had ongoing car park commitments, their car parking was reimbursed for the days they cycled to work and a drying rack was installed for cyclists to dry their biking gear prior to their ride home.
Just six weeks after the initiative began, Forté Health has seen a significant change.
“We now have 22 staff who bike to work at least one day a week, up from 8 people prior to this bike group forming. Some days it’s looking very full in our bike sheds now – it makes a good change from finding it hard to get a car park!”
Forté Health’s bike group also took part in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, a workplace cycling competition run during February. As part of the challenge, Forté Health’s staff biked 4,435 kilometres and came second in their category.
The bike group is also taking their cycling out of work, with the group holding social cycling events in the weekend. In the future Pip is hoping to run a bike workshop so people can learn tips and tricks on bike maintenance.
“This bike initiative really speaks to Forté Health’s values. It’s great for our people, our mental and physical wellbeing and our environment and is connecting staff from various parts of the organisation in a fun, social and healthy way!” says Pip.
Image above: Some of the keen Forté cyclists - Emma Jones (Recovery nurse and Forté Nurse Educator ), Jenny Jones (reception and administration whizz), Lynne Redfern (Pre-admissions nurse) and Pip Hope (Recovery nurse).