Children, staff and parents at Everton Nursery School and Family Centre are at the forefront of the city’s cycling revolution.
Members of staff have taken up the city council’s cycle to work scheme with enthusiasm; children use bikes in the school grounds throughout the week and are able to share experiences with staff, parents and carers and bike rides have been organised through Everton Park.
As well as cycling to work staff members have also been getting on their bikes for leisure taking part in sportives, criteriums and even cycling at the velodrome in Manchester.
Bikeright, the cycle training organisation, have also been involved at the centre through the Choose Freedom programme which is being delivered on behalf of the City Council and it is funded through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund
Headteacher, Dr Lesley Curtis and ICT Co-ordinator Matthew Farrell were the first staff members at the Centre – which has recently been judged by Ofsted to be outstanding for the fourth time since 2004 –to take up the cycle to work offer.
To date, nine members of staff from a team of 50 have accessed the scheme. Staff cycle from all directions to Everton, with the longest journeys being from Birkenhead and Crosby.
Matthew said “I have been using the Cycle to Work scheme for over three years now, before I accessed the scheme I had not really ridden a bike since childhood.
“The scheme allowed me to purchase a road bike from Halfords which turned a one hour bus journey into a 15 minute cycle. Not only was I saving time and money, but I was also getting fitter and feeling healthier.
“I started to cycle as a hobby during the summer months and slowly increased the distances I would cycle for fun.
“I could not imagine not cycling to work
“I now have the same waist size I had when I was 16, my diet has improved and most of all I enjoy my commute to work, something I feel not many drivers or bus passengers could say.
“In the morning I feel refreshed and invigorated as I arrive at work and in the evening when I leave work I’m always thinking about taking a long way home to enjoy the sun!
“I regularly now take part in long distance rides during the week of 40 plus miles and travel up to 100 miles a day at weekends. Cycling really has helped me!”