Free bicycle MOT checks

Did you know that we have a FREE bicycle MOT every Thursday.

Simply bring your bike to us before 11:00am and we will give it a thorough check over.  We do not replace parts (there are some excellent local bike shops for that) but we will carry out very minor adjustments.

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Hub M.O.T Service Gets The Green Light

Brian Elkin - case studyLeft: Brian proudly showing off his wheels to work.

Lollipop man Brian got in contact with us to share his satisfaction with his bike M.O.T performed by The Hub’s mechanics. Brian brought his bike in for some TLC following a discussion he had with a Hub volunteer who had passed Brian on duty. He said that “it’s like a new bike!”

Brian travels 2 miles between his home and work, 4 times a day by bike, so as to monitor the school crossing before and after school. He said that “by keeping me on my bike, I am able to make other people’s commute to school safe and possible!”

He continued to say that “without the bike I would have to walk or pay for the bus. I have knee trouble so walking would be a problem. I have also had my hip replaced and I don’t want to make my joints worse.”

As demonstrated by Brian, cycling offers an active, environmentally friendly, low-cost mode of transport as well as a physically low-impact form of exercise which is great for long term personal health and fitness!

Thanks for sharing your story Brian!

Volunteering Opportunity – Walk Leaders Wanted!

Do you enjoy walking and would like to help inspire people in your local community to achieve a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle? We’re currently looking for enthusiastic and positive individuals to lead health walks as part of our fantastic Active Travel Hub in Stockton.

At the Active Travel Hub, Stockton we are committed to normalising walking and cycling for more of people’s short, everyday journeys. We do this through a range of activities, including travel advice, developing peoples’ cycling skills, free bike maintenance lessons and Dr Bike sessions and leading rides and walks.

We are looking for someone to support our current health walks in Stockton. Going forward you may have the opportunity to lead your own walks depending on your experience, confidence and desire to do so.

Any of our volunteer roles can be combined together according to the volunteers’ interests.

Summary of tasks:

As a volunteer walk leader, your tasks may include:

  • help lead or support regular health walks in the local community including our once monthly ‘Away Day’ walks from various locations (travel is arranged for you on these occasions)
  • understand the benefits of walking
  • passionately promote walking to participants
  • log your volunteer activities and report these to the Hub
  • liaise with your local volunteer group coordinator once a month.

Skills required:

We’re looking for someone who is:

  • able to communicate clearly
  • good at timekeeping
  • reliable
  • self-motivated
  • committed to walking as a way to help improve good health and wellbeing
  • understanding of a group’s fitness level and is able to adjust the walk accordingly.

Time commitment

Flexible. Ideally one to two hours per week. (Most walks are roughly an hour long)

Training and support offered

  • You’ll receive initial training and an induction session. Health and safety guidelines will be provided.
  • Walk leader and appropriate related training will be provided.
  • Ongoing support from our Hub officers.
  • In addition to this, Sustrans holds a number of training and networking days throughout the year which you can take part in.
  • You will receive ongoing feedback on the role and are able to join our online forum of volunteers where you can share ideas and learning with each other.

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Our Safeguarding Statement sets out Sustrans’ organisational commitment to safeguarding best practice.

Find out more about the role

For more information please contact the officers at The Hub, Stockton at stocktonactivetravel@sustrans.org.uk or by calling 01642 803441.

To apply for this vacancy, please contact the Hub and ask to be provided with an application form which can be emailed or posted to you. You can also download the application form from the link below.

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/volunteer/get-involved/vacancies/volunteer-walk-leader-Stockton

Summer Travel Tales….

It’s been a long while since I put together a blog post so I have all summer to cover in a few hundred words. Thankfully, stand out moments have been common owing to a number of summer events but it would be great to build upon these moments more in the coming years. I will be honest and say that I wish I had planned more for Stockton Cycling Festival and in particular the RideStockton family ride. In part this is because of one stand out moment – the result of the small group of children, staff and a parent that joined us from Tilery Primary School. After leading a cycle snake of children from the school and doing a few laps of RideStockton, we caught up with the group before they headed home. 2 of the kids had beaming faces, bags full of free goodies and the memories from the day of cycling with their friends and also catching some of the attractions on the High Street such as bands, the fancy dress book corner on Silver Street and more. The day was an inspiring advert for Stockton. But I wish we had been able to share all of it with more families.

Another great advert for Stockton is SOUP, a community crowdfunding organisation that lets charities pitch their projects to win funding. We were privileged to get a pitching opportunity in July and we secured over £200 to support our project reconditioning donated bikes and loaning them to asylum seekers. The money we won has purchased sets of tools to be stationed at the Drop-In stations in Stockton which will allow asylum seekers to make small repairs and general maintenance on their bikes. The feedback we have received from asylum seekers shows that the bike loans can be life changing, making commutes shorter and more enjoyable, while opening up opportunities further afield.

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Kirkby Stephen Away Day Walk – 18 August 2017

 

Back to stand out moments and Alastair’s pick for the summer – a full family taking to our bikes and riding round Ropner Park for the ‘Friends Of Ropner Park’s‘ Eid Fusion Festival. The Hub bike stand was stationed in the avenue of trees between the bandstand and the fountain, a safe distance from the crowds at the food tent! Eric managed to pick out the most willing cyclist from a large family group and then coaxed other members into joining our ride. We filled our first ride using the 3 adult bikes available to us. Next the young family members were upon us and they were accompanied round by their Dad. Having seen Dad brave it, Mum and Aunties teamed up to make a third and final family lap of the park.

eid smileageAs it turned out the family was split between Leeds and Stockton but everyone was interested in new routes with the South Stockton Greenway sounding the most appealing because they had one family member who lived in Yarm. It was just as great to see small families fit into one ride and go around the park with youngsters making the most of much needed practise off stabilisers!

I will leave you with a more recent story. Only last week a new rider came in to the Hub for a long awaited one-to-one lesson with our Bikeability instructor Brian. However things didn’t go to plan as our new rider found herself following our Thursday ‘Pedal On’ ride out of the door! Luckily our volunteers quickly realised what had happened and one of them accompanied the newbie around the Riverside, completing 6 miles on her first ride. It goes to show that 6 miles is not an impossible target even for someone lacking a little confidence on a bike. After all, she had turned up at the Hub expecting a lesson and not a full ride!

Come and speak to us if you want information about cycle rides for different abilities as well as women only rides. We can also offer you information about the Stepping Out In Stockton Health Walks.

Bike Donations Appeal

Do you have a disused bike at the back of your garage? The Hub relies on donated bikes as part of a recycling programme which distributes bikes to asylum seekers and job seekers in Stockton.

Our experienced volunteers bring donated bikes back to life for the benefit of others to get practical use and enjoyment from. A bike can make a massive positive difference to somebody who finds themselves in transport poverty, or living on a tiny budget each week. Money can be saved instead of paying for buses, new job and training opportunities can be reached and the exercise is good for a person’s physical and mental health. If you have a disused bike, we would love to see it. Unfortunately we don’t have a vehicle to collect your bike but please call 01642 803441 and we will try and make arrangements if you are unable to drop it off yourself.

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A donated bike ready for it’s final touches after getting new cables, some gear adjustment expertise and some kindly volunteered elbow grease!

Active Travel Tales – Highlights of the Month

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Having not logged a blog in for a while I thought I would offer up some highlights from last month.

  1. In at number one was the 80 year old woman who decided to get straight back in the saddle with a Bikeability lesson after not cycling for decades! The lesson earnt her a Level 2 certificate, a lot of personal satisfaction, and the respect of instructor Brian! A great example of how cycling is an accessible form of exercise and enjoyment for people of all ages.
  2. Following closely behind was the reunion of two friends after a chance meeting on this month’s maintenance course. Graham and David knew each other when they were just 6 years old! The maintenance course was the first led by volunteer Chris and his students were all very satisfied with what they’d achieved.
  3. At number 3 was the ‘school day out’ organised by Maureen for her usual group of Stepping Out In Stockton walkers from Norton. A riverside walk, a stop at the Dinosaur Park, some fresh air, a drink stop and a bus journey under Maureen’s guidance led some of the walkers to suggest it was like going on a school trip! Safe to say Maureen has already had requests to think about another trip! The Stepping Out In Stockton Away Day walk to Bishop Auckland was another well attended walking trip.

My personal active travel highlight for the month was borrowing a fold-up bike to take on the train to London for the Bank Holiday weekend. I got a bit lost cycling from Kings Cross Station to the south of the river but this meant I went through Hyde Park for the first time! Over the weekend I saved over £20 on journeys by cycling instead of taking the tube or bus! A good weekend saving £s and burning the fat pounds!

Come and visit us in the pop-up marquee on the High Street this Friday 9th June for information of how to get involved with all of our free volunteer led activities. We will have a taster session ride and walk along the river. Walk at 11:30am – Ride at 14:00pm. See you there?!