A Darlington social enterprise is loaning bikes to NHS staff for free.

Bike Stop have helped 10 key workers with their commute, with a grant from County Durham Community Foundation.

The £3,200 grant will help NHS staff and other key workers get to work: without having to use public transport.

Darlington Bike Stop

Rob Archer, from Bike Stop, said: “We have our own fleet of bikes. So as soon as lockdown started we wanted to offer them to key workers. We didn’t realise how big it would be. So far we have loaned out 30, and have people on the waiting list.”

“People have been astounded, and grateful.”

The majority of people loaning bikes are from the NHS. However, carers have successfully applied too. Now the Darlington project is trying to source more bikes.

More bikes needed

Rob added: “We are pleased to see so many people interested in riding bikes, even though the supply chain is very slow at the moment.

“We’re all about encouraging and enabling cycling.

“We have seen lots more women getting in touch and wanting to go out with their partner and children.”

Durham charity makes grants of more than £850,000

County Durham Community Foundation have now made Covid-19 grants of more than £850,000. With the total growing every day.

More than 186 groups have been awarded grants. Food parcels, prescription pick-ups and support with mental health are just some of the initiatives funded.

Michelle Cooper, chief executive for the Foundation, said:

“We are devoting all of our time and energy into supporting our local grassroots groups, which in turn will bolster our communities.

“Illness, isolation, loneliness and poverty are very real in County Durham and Darlington. Now they are exasperated by the spread of Covid-19. However, if we work together we can provide support to the life-changing local community services that will lessen the blow.”

To apply to our COVID-19 fund, please click here.