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Ward patients in Norwich saddle up for new confidence boosting scheme

Ward staff at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich are delighted with three brand new bicycles, which they hope will see service users taking to the roads to improve their fitness and confidence.

The bicycles were purchased by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust from their charitable funds and will be used by service users on adult acute and Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit wards in Norwich.

The idea was masterminded by Anne Harrison, who is the clinical lead for Hellesdon Hospital’s Wellbeing and Occupational Therapy team. She said: “The bikes will create a really positive experience for our service users and will help them build their confidence as they become more independent.

“Some of our service users have already expressed interest in the bikes, and our staff are really motivated about the scheme. It is really important that we think about service user’s physical health and wellbeing, not just their mental health, and these new bikes will be a great help in achieving this.”

Service users that want to use the bikes will have an opportunity to gain a safety certificate with Level 3 accredited cycling coach Craig Edwards.

Craig, who works at Hellesdon Hospital as an assistant practitioner, will teach service users about general road safety and bike handling such as coordination, balance, signalling and manoeuvres. After service users learn the basics there will be opportunities for further cycle rides with staff.

Anne added: “Cycling is an everyday activity for many of us, so giving our service users a chance to do this during their stay will be a positive part of their recovery. Once they have left us we are hoping some may even want to purchase their own bike, as many service users will find this preferable than taking public transport.”