Have Bike Will Travel

Goodison Park recently played host to a practical bike maintenance workshop courtesy of a long-standing partnership between Everton in the Community, Merseytravel and BikeRight!.

The two-hour session, which took place on Thursday 12 February, saw staff and participants of the Club’s official charity witness a demonstration – courtesy of trained BikeRight! staff –  which included cycling proficiency, as well as bicycle maintenance.

The scheme has two aims, one to provide alternative forms of transport to Everton 4 Employment participants, as well as those who access Everton Traineeships, and secondly supporting a concerted effort to promote healthier lifestyle and reduce carbon footprint. Merseytravel is the executive body that provides professional, strategic and operational transport advice to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to enable it to make informed decisions.

This Merseytravel initiative is funded by Department for Transport Local Sustainable Transport Fund and has donated a number of bikes for use by those that access Everton 4 Employment, which ties in nicely with the organisations continued collaboration with the Club’s official charity’s Health and Wellbeing strand. 

“Active transport is a key area for Everton in the Community’s Health Pillar. Building on our success with achieving ‘Excellence’ on Health@Work’s Workplace Wellbeing Charter,” said Everton in the Community’s Health and Wellbeing manager Michael Salla.  

“We have collaborated with Merseytravel to secure funding that has provided a CCTV covered cycle storage, changing facilities and showers to promote active transport for Everton staff, project participants and fans on a match day. This has been further supported by Merseytravel offering expert guidance to administer staff consultation exercises, which have informed the development of an Active Travel Plan. 

“We are delighted with the support from Merseytravel and the joined-up approach including BikeRight!, which will play a significant role with increasing physical activity and making healthier choices easier for staff, participants and fans.”

The programme’s coordinator, Scott Black, was also quick to highlight how the initiative will eliminate a common barrier that restricts those looking for employment. “One of main barriers for participants who are looking for work is getting to places, the cost, as well as having the confidence of travelling on public transport. This fantastic initiative will help overcome these barriers I’m sure. 

“We are delighted to work with Everton in the Community again,” added Ryan Oakes, Merseytravel’s Transport Solutions’ assistant. “It is so encouraging to see all the young people getting their bike maintenance training here today. It will really help them in the future and is a big thumbs up for the partnership.”

Since 2009 Everton 4 employment has engaged with over 650 local people through a series of courses, finding work and opportunity for individuals all over the city and beyond.The employment programmes currently on offer within the charity boast a 97 per cent retention for candidates, with Community staff helping them progress to job-ready status, supporting them into employment across a wide range of industries.