In partnership with Omnia Practice and Yardley Green Medical Centre, The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) launched its first-ever cycle hub attached to a GP Medical Centre, in the Bordesley Green area of Birmingham this afternoon, Tuesday 8 November. The Primary Care Pedals initiative has an onsite cycle hub with bikes available for patients and the local community to use. As well as the bikes, there will be a wraparound support programme for people to access such as learn to ride, cycle confidence sessions, led rides and cycle maintenance with TAWS staff onsite to help.
Delivery of the new cycle hub is funded by Sport England and builds on our Bikes on Prescription offer, where we work with GPs to make it easier for people to take part in cycling by making bikes available for free (funded by Sport England and Birmingham City Council), through social prescription. By having the hub available in the daily lives of people and taking it to where they are, the aim of the cycle hub is to improve health and wellbeing and remove barriers to accessing a bike.
Dr Zinab Nazif, Lead GP for Birmingham East Central PCN Primary Care Pedals initiative said, “We are really excited to be collaborating with The Active Wellbeing Society on the Primary Care Pedals initiative. Currently, the population in our area live a decade less than people living in other areas of the city and our patients spend nearly 17 years in ill health, in their already shortened lives – the Primary Care Pedals initiative is aiming to reverse these challenges, encouraging healthier living. I am confident that the initiative will help create a social environment and collaboration with our patients at our practice. I am motivated to see how the model evolves, develops connected health and keeps the family GP ethos of the NHS model”
Sue Mellor, Head of Cycling at The Active Wellbeing Society said, “We are really excited to be partnering with Omnia Practice and Yardley Green Medical Centre to open our first cycle hub attached to a GP and Medical Centre, bringing cycling to people and local places. Building on the trust within the community and the safe space of a Medical Centre means we can work with people who will see the greatest benefit from this initiative. Looking ahead and continuing to work together with the community and partners, our goal is to set up a community cycle club and social group from the hub where people can have fun, get active and connect.”
Demelza Neale, a local community member and patient said, “I was booked in for a diabetic referral and that’s when I met a staff member from TAWS at the surgery, who asked me about things I was interested in that I didn’t have access to and could be referred in to. That’s when I found out about cycling. Picking cycling back up again after not being on a bike for years is fun, and I sometimes think that’s what you lose when you talk about physical activity. I’m hoping by trying new things it will help reduce my need for medication, get me active, and find a new job after being made redundant. Who knows, I may even cycle to work.”
Stephen O’Halloran, PCN Business Manager, Birmingham East Central PCN said, “Through robust engagement with the local community and in collaboration with The Active Wellbeing Society over the last four years, more than 200 patients have received help from our programmes that go beyond clinical care and support their social needs. Now we are taking things one step further through the Primary Care Pedals initiative, which has already received interest from more than 40 patients wanting to cycle.”
Linked to a Lifestyle Support Programme and a Diabetic Programme already running from the sites, social prescribers, health officials and GPs will be able to refer patients to the cycling programme to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
To find out more about TAWS projects and services visit www.theaws.co.uk/activities/