The vital role care workers play within our local community, has been highlighted never more than since the arrival of Covid.
There simply isn’t enough care workers and we have seen the Health and Social Care sector struggle to cope with demand, on a local and on a national scale.
Safely recruiting and training a care worker is the role of our company. A difficult hurdle to get around is for almost all of the time, that a care worker will need regular access to a motor driven vehicle, most commonly a car, to get them between calls. The care workers daily role is to help numerous clients in their own home, with ½ hour or 1 hour long visits. They support and help with their personal care, at key times of the day (e.g. on a morning, lunch etc).
A very small amount of our care workers have no car or licence and walk between visits. We help people at their home at the time they need our support, so often there can be a 1 or 2 mile hike for carers between visits. This means we either have insufficient work for care workers without a car or they are often walking 15 – 30 minutes between visits. The business is not structured to pay carer workers for long periods walking between these visits, therefore for the most part, motorised transport is essential.
This has always been frustrating for us, as we often turn away people who genuinely want to care for others and would make valuable additions to our teams.
We had to think outside the box and this is when “Cycle 2 Care” scheme was launched. The Cycle 2 Care concept is to reduce the time our care staff spend travelling between visits, reduce pollution and improve the physical and mental health of our staff.
Battery technology has improved dramatically since the world has turned away from its long term reliance on fossil fuels. Electric bicycles are now an available and suitable alternative to the daily commute for many. This new technology means Cycle 2 Care is launching.
Delivering frontline care to vulnerable people in our local area on e bikes. Ideal for reducing walking time for non drivers and even an option for those carers wanting to avoid rising fuel costs. Caring while doing our bit for the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. The e bikes will play a small part to help with rush hour traffic and reduce congestion and pollution. Most are normal bicycles with a power assist function for hills, but some are folding cycles which makes for easier storage. Each carer has a full induction on how to use the cycle and are provided with clothing adequate for most weather thrown at us. The cycles are provided with lights, locks and a safety helmet which way say must be worn. We all know the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise and this will be promoted across our company. Each care worker will ride to work but also, we hope, use the bike at leisure times to improve their overall well-being.
My Homecare Harrogate are part of the My Homecare Nationwide Franchise delivering care across the UK and Ireland. With over 40 registered branches My Homecare Harrogate are trialling this new innovative approach before hopefully rolling out the concept to the rest of the branches nationwide.