Highland Home Carers

Access to bikes allowed staff to do home visits and deliveries during Covid-19 in a healthy and sustainable way, helping the older and most vulnerable.

Employing over 500 people, Highland Home Carers (HCC) is the biggest homecare provider in Scotland and the largest non-state employer in the Highlands. Carers provide vital services to older and disabled people, from complex care to help with day-to-day living, as well as a familiar and friendly face.

"The bike has become a story"

To support the increased demand for home visits and deliveries to older or vulnerable people, and those in self-isolation, we are helping the Bikes & Trikes for Highland Carers project to access extra bikes, with grant funding from Transport Scotland. Travelling by bike for their essential journeys also helps carers’ health and wellbeing.

The eight bikes funded allow staff to travel to home visits in a healthy, sustainable way, avoiding traffic and parking restrictions. The feedback observed from the carers’ managers has been positive, with a visible improvement in health and wellbeing in all staff using them. More remarkably, homecare clients have been cheered up by a carer arriving on a bike: “the bike has become a story”.

Positive change

One of the healthcare workers describes using the e-bikes for home visits: “[It’s] been over a month now since having the bike and [I] have only had to use the car twice which is brilliant. I think it's great that we have been given the opportunity to use these bikes and I hope more people get involved as it really is enjoyable, makes you feel good, the clients love to see you arrive on the bike and it's one less car on the road so better for our planet.”

It hasn’t just been the health and wellbeing of the staff that has been improved by this project. A staff member who has started cycling since the project’s inception has found that with the time savings and convenience of cycling to clients, she has been able to take on an extra client who needs four visits per day, a huge deal for both her and the client.

The project is now being extended and includes nurses, school nurses, GPs and pharmacists: extending out across the whole care community.

Read full story