Thank you to Kathryn: Bikes for Key Workers
Posted: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:04
Thank you to Kathryn: Bikes for Key Workers project
As we get ready to give out our 200th bike to key workers across Oxfordshire, we're reflecting on the incredible success of this community project. None of this would have happened without the tireless energy and commitment of our volunteers. We've caught up with Kathryn, one of the key driving forces behind Bikes for Key Workers to find out more about her story:
Why did you get involved with Bikes for Key Workers?
I am on the Cyclox committee and, when Cyclox became involved in the keyworker project, Alison, Cyclox Chair, asked me whether I would take this on. I leapt at the chance because I was keen to do something positive during the pandemic that could be done from home. I had no idea that it would be such a huge part of my life for all this time but, even if I had known, I would still have taken it on because it is such a good cause.
What does your day to day role look like?
My day to day role: hmmm. I sit down at my computer after breakfast just to check my emails quickly and then often don't move for 2 hours. Although the number of donations has now slowed down, each bike requires several emails and I do try to keep them as personal as possible. There is no typical day though, because I also have to make sure the mechanics have a supply of locks, lights and 'goodie bags' (information about the project and about Cyclox and a cycling map) My husband James and I also pick up and deliver bikes and James has done several runs to the scrap metal merchant with scrap from several mechanics. James has also collected bikes for and delivered bikes to keyworkers. He has been a tower of strength.
What has been your highlight so far?
I don't think I have one highlight: meeting all the mechanics has been wonderful; most of the emails from donors are full of encouragement and the joy on the faces of the keyworkers when they pick up their bikes is heartwarming. When they say thank you, it's good to be able to say thank you back to them and chat to them about where they work etc. It has been a wonderful team effort - donors, mechanics, key workers - all vital to the project.
How do you feel this project has made a difference to keyworkers in Oxford City?
200 extra cyclists (so far) round the city must be good news and the stats from Active Oxfordshire show that the number of keyworkers cycling to work has increased significantly. Some people are back on bikes who have not ridden for years and you can see it gives them quite a morale boost.
What's been your favourite quote?
The first quotes we got were I've never had a treat like this before and This is the best thing that has happened to me all year but I don't have a favourite quote, there are so many lovely ones. I can't wait to get back to normality; I feel like a queen; it's nothing short of a miracle I am back riding; my whole family got inspired etc etc. And just all the thank yous. Wonderful. I'm very proud to be part of this project!
We'd like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to Kathryn and to all of the incredible volunteers for their energy and commitment throughout this whole project. Thank you!