There’s nothing like a global pandemic to focus minds on what’s really important and with each lockdown, our perceptions on “home” have had to change and evolve according to circumstance. Yet, for too many people home is something that’s out of their reach. Last summer Shelter Scotland stated, “the figures show a household in Scotland becomes homeless every 17 minutes.” (Scottish Housing News) and that’s where charities like Simon Community Scotland come in.
Awarded Scottish Charity of the year 2020, Simon Community believes that ‘Everyone deserves a safe place to live and access to the support they need’. Their team of workers and volunteers work hard every day to provide positive actions for people facing very difficult times. People are the focus point and at the heart of everything, this charity does, which is where Volt comes in…
Supported by Transport Scotland and Energy Saving Trust, last year Simon Community purchased 8 Volt e-bikes to support staff to access long term loans of ebikes, supporting health and wellbeing, reducing commuting costs, responding to changes in public transport with covid and of course to have fun!
Hugh Hill Director of Services at Simon Community said:
“We have a long term commitment to promoting cycling across the charity. Last year we introduced a 20p per mile payment for staff commuting to encourage commuting by bike, we are a cycle friendly employer, we deliver two unique street cycle outreach teams supporting rough sleepers, we have four amazing electric cargo bikes delivering essential supplies across the city and we provide bikes to all our services for anyone to use.
The Funding from the Energy Saving Trust has allowed us to purchase eight Volt electric bikes, which are amazing. Lynsey, one of the staff who are now using one of the bikes said ‘The bikes are so easy to use and make cycling really fun!’ It’s a great opportunity to try out using an ebike before committing to purchase them. I am now using the bike to replace the bus and looking forward to a summer where I can really fly.
We hope that with summer coming and lockdown easing we can support more people to cycle and experience the Volt ebikes we’ve purchased.”
The charity is currently recruiting volunteers in Edinburgh for its Street Cycles project reaching people on the street and this time powered by ebikes. You can find out more here www.simonscotland.org.
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