Green Shoots: Harrogate care provider buys electric bikes for staff
Last updated Mar 25, 2022
The My Homecare team with two new bikes in Knaresborough

A Harrogate and Knaresborough care provider has bought a fleet of electric bikes to reduce emissions, avoid congestion and boost the mental health of its staff.

My Homecare offers at-home care to around 40 clients in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Carers can be driving to people’s homes from 7am to 9pm, clocking up “absolutely loads of miles’ and contributing to local air pollution, says Sarah Kemp, care manager at the company.

Visits have also been disrupted over the past few years due to the seemingly endless number of roadworks linked to new housing developments in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Ms Kemp said:

“Harrogate is quite a big town when you realise how many people you are visiting. We go everywhere from Bilton, Jennyfields and the town centre.

“But if you need to visit people multiple times the miles soon rack up.”

Holly with one of the bikes

More responsive

The Cycle 2 Care initiative began with seven bikes. It will be trialled in Harrogate and Knaresborough and could be rolled out to other My Homecare locations in other parts of the country if it’s successful.

Ms Kemp added:

“Electric bikes will help us be a lot more responsive.”

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Recruitment boost

Recruitment problems in the care sector have been well documented.

It’s estimated there are around 1,000 jobs available across North Yorkshire, with providers struggling to fill roles.

My Homecare Harrogate believes electric bikes can help persuade carers to come on board and work for them.

It also currently has a small number of carers that don’t have a car, so the bikes will help them get to clients more quickly.

Ms Kemp said she brought up the electric bikes at a recent job interview, and the candidate was impressed.

“The person who we interviewed said no other providers have offered this.

“Nobody is using electric bikes as a recruitment tool the way we are.”

Kim and Clare

‘Greener way of delivering care’

Each carer will have a full induction on how to use the bike and will be provided with a helmet, lights and a lock.

Ms Kemp hopes will not only improve the environment but improve the mental health and wellbeing of staff too.

She added:

“This hopefully will be a greener way of delivering care.”