Browsing articles in "health"
Jan 31, 2012
Andrew Budd

Health, Work and Wellbeing – event 8 Feb 2012

A healthy workforce is good for your employees, for the wider community, and for your business. There’s a Health, Work and Wellbeing event at Eight Ash Green, run by the “Business in the Community” organisation, and “NHS northeast Essex”. It will be in the morning of 8 February, and will include lunch. Please follow the link for details, and book your FREE place. There will be a series of interesting presentations, some market stalls, and opportunities to network. See you there…..

http://www.bitc.org.uk/events/health_work_.html

Jan 26, 2012
emilyharrup

Full set of spanners at CTPC workshop!

 

Not many schools can boast that cycling is an integral part of their curriculum. The Gilberd School teaches mountain biking and Bikeability within timetabled lessons, holds bike races as part of sports day, and has a weekly bike club. And the headliner is an impressive bike maintenance workshop which is run as a small business and where students can learn bike maintenance as part of a qualification.  With  bikes that don’t work, being one of the main reasons kids don’t cycle to school, The Gilberd’s bike maintenance workshop is about to go mobile and help out at other schools.  Thanks to Roger Springett for hosting January’s CTPC event, and for the tour afterwards which included the bike workshop and facilities plus the impressive shiny new trailer which will soon be transformed into a mobile workshop.

So back to club news:

CTPC Governance: With the winding-down of Colchester2020, Jeremy Lucas (ECC) and Paul Wilkinson (CBC) talked about future governance of the club and member involvement in determining the direction the club goes in and priorities.  Emily and Andrew have always responded and evolved to the needs of the TPC members and are happy to continue doing this. Paul will be organising a workshop for members to discuss governance issues/priorities etc. All agreed that any opportunity to bid for funding should be taken advantage of to help ongoing funding of the CTPC and new projects.

Summer Cycling Promotions: Get your costed ideas for promotions within your workplace into Andrew and Emily by the beginning of February. Funding may be available from ECC for training, events, Dr Bike etc and any new ideas you have. We all liked the Cycle Challenge as a cross CTPC promotion but the cost is an issue, could we develop our own online logging system? One for Andrew and Emily to explore…..

STEPS – Active Travel:  Legs Eleven walking project is still happening, and is expected to be launched in the spring. A decision on ERDF funding is imminent, which will put more funding into this and other NCBP projects.

2012 Events:  We are happy to support you in any events where you are promoting sustainable transport. One highlight in this year’s calender is the  ACTTravelwise’s spring conference  which is being hosted by Charlotte at UofE and has an exciting line up showcasing Transport in the 21st Century. There is a pre-conference event on the 29th March with the main conference on the 30th.  Use the link above to see the full programme and to book your place.

Drive Colchester: £5000 is available to CTPC members to promote car sharing and smarter driving in 2012! A second grant from DEFR has given us this great opportunity for some more bespoke promotions over and above the central project we are currently working on. So please let us have your ideas…. whether it be advanced driving lessons, an on site mechanic, car share matching events, Love Your Car promotions, bespoke publicity material, dedicated car share bays or something else…

The central campaign will run over a couple of months starting around mid February, with a short funky film on carsharing and another on smarter driving.  Radio (Heart, Dream, Uni, Garrison, Hospital?-  are there others we can approach??) and billboard campaigns will promote the films and Drive Colchester website, plus publicity in TPC member organisations… watch this space for more info…

Travel Plan Accreditation scheme: Many of our members have achieved a silver and want to go for gold. Survey response rates are the main barrier and Rachel gave us ideas for maximising response rates by offering attractive inventives, offering a paper version, timing the survey to coincide with a change in parking arrangements etc.

Survey time is here again:  We do a full survey across all members every two years, usually in May to measure our progress. Survey results have been good with a year on year 3% decrease in people driving to work and big increases in people mixing their modes.  The challenge this year is to get the high response rate to help our members hit gold, as well as get some robust stats to measure our progress  by.  So we will be talking to members over the next few months on how best to tackle this for their organisation and noted that if we can put the month long survey back or forward a week it will help out the Uni as May clashes with exam time.

Abellio and public transport: Good news that Abellio want to focus on customer service in their 2 year franchise, with their eye keenly set on achieving the franchise in the longer term. This means new dedicated customer service desks at key stations (including Colchester) interest in integrated transport, more user-friendly timetables, marketing of under capacity trains (apparently there are very few that are overcrowded) We have had positive sounds about continuing our discount and hopefully they will be keen to work on some joint marketing of train travel with us. (Conversation today with our current contact at NXEA, Tanya, indicates business as usual from 5th Feb when Abellio take over – she is 99% certain existing discounts will continue.

CTPC public transport promotional material is all set to go, but ticket stock is still awaited from Network Colchester. Tony Mears has gone (Emily met new Regional General Manager Martin Evans after our meeting, hopefully the ticket stock will be appearing very soon so we can get on with our promotions).

ACTTravelwise: The CTPC pays for membership of ACTTravelwise  , who represent and lobbies for sustainable travel and travel planning nationally. Full CTPC members have access via their own log in.  It is a good resource for case studies, events, jobs and includes a forum for posting questions.  Emily will sort out current log ins and passwords.  Another good free resource to sign up to is Ways2Work funded by DfT and focused more on the private sector, with lots of good case studies, advice and best practice.

Helena encouraged us all to sign up  for a Free Business in the Community & ACE conference masterclass promoting health in the workplace, 8th February 09:30 – 13:30, lunch included, at the Holiday Inn in Eight Ash Green.

Thanks, and if you want to know more please get in touch.

Nov 14, 2011
emilyharrup

Meet our NQE Business Awards Finalists

 

This year the Travel Plan Club, along with ECC and Inntel, have sponsored the Active and Sustainable Travel category in the prestigious NQE business awards

Having choosen nine finalists we followed this up with a visit to each.  It’s been great finding out all the different things they are doing to promote sustainable and active travel.  Here is a snippet of some of the best bits!

Open Road a charity providing drug and alcohol treatment makes great use of  Skype to deliver training between its centres and to hold meetings. This has greatly reduced its business travel costs and overtime payments.

The whole ethos of Green Path Ventures  is to give new experiences to, and build confidence of, people with mental health problems, through being outside, physical activity, social interaction and teaching bush craft skills.

To complement what they already do to encourage their staff to be more active  Click4Quote are considering installing a Wii in their staff kitchen to promote lunchtime activity over the winter months!

DSG have been monitoring their business travel related CO2 emissions and can show a big drop since they introduced video conferencing and other new working practices across all their sites.

An innovative bike maintenance workshop and mobile maintenance trailer which is going to offer bike repairs to local schools,  attracted a recent ministerial visit at The Gilberd School

Discounted D locks, pumps, cycle maintenance equipment, disounts in local bike schops and the Cycle to Work scheme are offered at Colchester VI Form College to help encourage cycling.

The University of Essex has doubled the number of students cycling to campus over the past couple of years through their termly cycle promotions including cycle training, Dr Bike, cycle watch scheme and the sale of second hand bikes.

Income from charging staff to park at Colchester Borough Council is used to offer staff choosing to regularly travel to work sustainably, 50% off bus season/carnet tickets and 35% off train travel.

Colchester United Football Club are really listening to their fans and tailoring services to suit,  there are now shuttle buses from Greenstead, St Johns, Highwoods and Butt Road plus a coach coming from Braintree. As many as 24% of fans now travel to a game by bus

So that’s it, our finalists in a nutshell.  It has been incredibly difficult to decide three winners as everyone is doing such good work. All will be revealed at the awards ceremony on Friday 25th November.  So good luck to you all and have a great evening!

Oct 25, 2011
Andrew Budd

It’s not about the bike

It’s not about the bike, or the bus, or the car. Working in the field of travel planning we can sometimes get so engrossed in bus discount tickets, car sharing parking spaces and the minutiae of bicycle deals (salary sacrifice, VAT, residual value, tax liability and so on…..). We overlook the human aspect at our peril, if we expect that people are going to change their lifestyles, from their less than ideal but maybe fairly comfortable current arrangements.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

So here’s a picture taken at the Hoge Veluwe National Park, in the east of The Netherlands. An area of rolling countryside, heaths, woods and sand dunes. Inaccessible by car, but threaded with a narrow ribbon of tarmac, taking you by bike to a place of total peace. And when you arrive at the loftiest spot, there’s a high chair that lifts you just that bit further, and the horizon spreads many more kilometres. Follow my dream, and sit in that chair.

(And for those who really are interested in the bike, it’s a 1983 Raleigh Metro, 3-speed hub-gear ladies’ bike, with original steel mudguards, chainguard, cranks, rims and bars, updated only by Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture-proof tyres. An unglamorous machine, but low maintenance and reliable.)

Sep 30, 2011
emilyharrup

Pulp Friction joins giant inflatables!

It was a gloriously sunny day on Wednesday for Colchester Institute’s Freshers’ Fair.

Luckily for us we found a shady spot to set ourselves up, having transported the smoothie maker plus all the fruit to the event in a bike trailer!  Pulp Friction joined an array of strange and energy demanding inflatable fun things and offered a welcome  break and much needed energy boost for weary and hot students fresh from their surfing, bumper cars and this other thing – which I couldn’t quite work out, but having done some googling have discovered was an inflatable laser quest – picture above!

There were plenty of students prepared to pedal for their smoothies, but plenty also that were happy for someone else to pedal one for them! Pulp Friction got a good thrashing from some of the more enthusiastic lads and at times had to be held down to stop the whole bike and turbo trainer from taking off – some serious rubber was burnt!

180 smoothies were made and we ran out of fruit at around 3.  We attempted to do a short travel survey and managed to pin down 84 students, who completed the survey with varying degrees of attention, so the results are a little random! We did at least get how they travelled to campus,  and the top three ways to travel were bus at 42%, train at 20% and walk at 19%.

So Colchester Institute Freshers’ fair is over and we are due to be at the University of Essex’s Freshers’ Fair on Saturday 8th October – sadly we will not have Pulp Friction with us, as she is already booked, but it does mean we will have some time to actually talk to the students!

 

Sep 6, 2011
Andrew Budd

Legs Eleven gets green light

I’ve got an idea for you.” Justin Lewis from Vacuumatic, at Severalls Business Park, got in touch with us recently. He’s keen on playing his part in reducing traffic congestion in the area where he works, and he’s also interested in people getting a bit of fresh air at lunchtime.  He’s a leader of the business community in the area, although, with Justin’s modest nature, he would probably shrug his shoulders and say “well I’m just interested in what’s going on“.

A few of us are keen on going for a walk at lunchtime, and we enjoy it so much, we thought others might like to try it – so maybe the Travel Plan Club would like to take on a walking project?” Yes indeed, the TPC is very interested, especially as we want to work with more businesses in North Colchester Business Parks (NCBP), and it ticks our “traffic congestion/ public health/ low-cost” boxes.

And so, the Legs Eleven project was born. Justin and colleagues have come up with nine routes round the business parks, and Emily and I have come up with two more walking routes taking us just off-site. Justin suggested a series of cards, to show people the route and places along the way – landmarks for wayfinding, places to eat, and snippets of interesting information. As it’s a community project we want to work with local businesses to prepare the cards, and promote the walks, so watch out for our appearance at your local networking events. (And give us an invitation to your event!)

What’s more, we’ll be there with you, stepping out. Look out for our led walks “Highwoods Ramble” and “Tesco Grab”,  in spring 2012. With a media campaign, we expect Legs Eleven will capture the imagination, promoting the businesses at NCBP. We will soon be in touch with you so that your business can be part of this great local initiative. Says Andrew Budd “with Legs Eleven on its way, lunchtimes have never been such fun“.

Aug 3, 2011
Andrew Budd

High vis v getting kids on bikes

  

 It’s Sunday morning, 24 July, and the Travel Plan Club members have been invited, with their families, to attend a “Young Explorers” bike ride from the town centre to Friday Woods. It was run to show people the cycle routes, to get people active, and to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes (www.justgiving.com/planetfrank ). As a public event, a risk assessment had been prepared, and one of the options was to offer participants advice on cycling, helmets and high-visibilty vests; and some were available if people hadn’t brought their own.

One parent, in the friendliest possible manner, informed the organisers that if we wanted to get young people cycling, don’t expect them to wear a high-vis jacket, as they will want to put fashion before safety. Bear in mind that this was a led 10 kilometre ride (at a slow pace), with almost every metre off-road, with people wearing bright clothing in perfect visibility conditions.

As with many interventions when trying to bring about changes in transport habits, beware of the unintended consequences. By co-incidence there was a recent news story (link below) about the perpetual cycle helmets debate, with many doctors not supporting proposals that might improve safety, but which would also reduce cycling levels, on balance to the detriment of public health. Of course, we all want to see a reduction in head injuries, and helmets might help, but look at things through ordinary people’s eyes, and think about how they will respond. After all, many of us reading this are motorists, and we too could possibly benefit from wearing helmets when travelling in a car, as many of us suffer head injuries in collisions. Think how you would feel if a road safety person promoted helmets to you as a motorist – what would your reaction be, and what reasons would you use to excuse yourself from this road safety measure? 

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23974179-doctors-dont-make-bike-helmets-compulsory.do

 

Jun 14, 2011
admin

A sunny walking month was had by (almost) all!

May was a fabulous month for walking, with glorious sunshine pretty much every day (apart from the one day I arranged to take some photos!).  TPC members encouraged their colleagues to step out in lots of creative and varied ways.

CHUFT’s Well Being team introduced a new lunchtime walk linked in with their My Weight Matters campaign. The daily half hour walks, into the lovely High Woods Country Park,  attracted up to ten people each day.

Charlotte at the Uni gave out 210 pedometers  and record cards for her walking challenge held over ten days. 26 people returned their cards to enter the prize draw and between them walked 2,074,940 steps!

26 people took part in Colchester 6th Form’s Walk to Work challenge using the ‘My Living Streets’ walking calculator and clocked up 306 miles over 5 days.

Michelle organised a Team Walking challenge at CBC. Ten teams of seven took it in turns to wear a pedometer for a day to see which team could manage the most steps over  a week.  The teams walked 1,202,792 steps overall. The GIS Star Trekkers were the winning team with 177,709 steps and won themselves a team lunch.

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What’s coming up?

5 - 19 May Colchester Walking Challenge

10 - 25 June Colchester Cycle Challenge

(10 - 17 June National Bike Week)

14 June CTPC members meeting

15 June National Clean Air Day

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