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  • Your stories

    Meet Carrie


    Carrie McKenzie manages the Voluntary Services at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. She lives in Meersbrook, Sheffield, and doesn’t drive - for as long as she remembers, she travels by bus, bicycle or walks to places. 

    “I’ve done that my whole career. We used to have a car, though, but my partner sold it two weeks ago”, she says. 

    “Basically, it was too expensive to keep it and he was getting too stressed while driving to work, stuck in traffic”.

    “He now cycles to work every day and no longer has a car. He said it hasn’t bothered him as much as he thought it would, it’s just that he has to plan it a bit more. He’s also hoping to lose a bit of weight, but it’s still early days.”

    Carrie has herself already felt the benefits of active travel.
    “I feel healthier walking to work, as long as I stay away from the main road, because of air pollution”.

    Meet Ann, Ellie and Isabel

    Meet Ann Ellie and IsabelAnn Cook, 75, from Sheffield has committed to leaving the car at home and catching the bus when taking her granddaughters Ellie, 9, and Isabel, 6, out and about this summer.

    “We’ve decided to have our own little adventures over the summer holidays by catching the bus when we’re out and about for the day. I’ve already taken the girls into Sheffield city centre to visit their mum at work and go to Sheffield by the Seaside in the Peace Gardens. We’ve got plans to go even further afield this summer on the bus, with a trip to Clifton Park in Rotherham planned for next week,” explained Ann.

    “The girls love to sit and plan our journey and work out what stop we need. They even have their own little competitions to see who can spot our bus first.

    “Leaving the car at home takes away the stress of working out directions of where to go and finding a parking space. It also saves me money too as I have my ENCTS senior citizen card which allows me to travel for free and the girls travel for as little as 80p each, meaning I have more money to spend on treats!”

    Ann is encouraging more families to make the switch this summer and choose quality time with the kids over jumping in the car.

    “By catching the bus, it means I can concentrate more on making memories with my granddaughters instead of having to keep my eyes on the road.”

    Meet Babeth

    Little Big Changes - Babeth 1

    Babeth Bettencourt, from SYPTE, has started walking to work every day in an attempt to integrate physical activity into her routine.

    “I kept trying to go to the gym three times a week, but finding enough time to exercise was proving challenging and tough to stick at.”

    Babeth also wanted to make the most the nice weather by exercising in the outdoors instead of inside a gym.

    “I’ve always enjoyed walking and I’m pleased to finally find a way to do it regularly. Now I start my day at work feeling refreshed and healthier after a good brisk walk. The sunshine is gorgeous and I notice things on the way that I didn’t used to see before.”

    “I live near the city centre, it’s just 1.8 mile. It’s a levelled straight line, so I knew it wouldn’t be very hard. In fact, it takes me only 10 minutes longer to walk, than if I travel by bus or tram. And my commute is still around 35 minutes from door to door. My next step is to try different routes and get to know my surroundings even better!”

    The combination of using public transport and getting active on her commute suits Babeth who still uses the bus or tram to get home at the end of the day.

    “On the bus or tram I can wind down, read or catch up with friends on Facebook in comfort on my way back. It’s a bit of me time which I really enjoy! ”

    Meet Mick

    Active Travel - Meet MickSYPTE’s own IT System Development Manager, Mick Marriott, is a true active travel champion, cycling from his home in Rotherham to and from the Sheffield office every day. 

    “Cycling is my main hobby and knowing that I’d be able to cycle to work each day was a big attraction when I applied for this role.” Mick says.

    “I’ve cycled to work almost every day since starting at SYPTE last October. It’s made a huge difference to my health and fitness as well as helped improve my overall cycling performance. Most impressively, it has helped me to achieve the metabolic age of 31 – 16 years below my actual age!”

    According to Mick, anyone can have a go at getting active on their commute. He says:
    “You don’t need to be super fit to get started or even cycle every day. You could begin with cycling for part of your journey and then build up to doing your whole commute on the bike once or twice or week – you’ll soon see the difference it makes!”

    Meet Matt


    TravelMaster’s General Manager, Matt Smallwood believes that walking to and from work is just the ticket to becoming happier and healthier, even if you only do it a couple of times a week.

    “I’ve been walking to and from work for a few years now, but made the decision back in March that I would try to become even healthier by leaving the car at home on days when I don’t really need it.” says Matt.

    “I try to walk, or do a combination of walking and catching the bus every Tuesday and Thursday. Some days I’ll walk both ways, but other days I might just walk one way and catch the bus the other”.

    Matt is already seeing the benefits that walking has on his health and wellbeing and would encourage more people to ditch the car a couple of days a week.

    “I find that walking home is a great way to decompress after a long day at work. I usually walk between 2-4 miles on those days and it’s a great little bit of extra exercise in between the days I go to the gym.

    According to Matt, walking can not only help you start to feel healthier and fitter, it can also be a great way to get out and about and explore somewhere new.

    “I was recently in London for a conference and decided to walk around and enjoy the sights during my down time.” he said 

    “A round walk of almost 7 miles, seeing sights, parks and feeling much healthier was a far better way to spend a couple of hours instead of being bored in front of a TV in a hotel.”

    Meet Katherine

    Meet Katherine Speech and Language Therapist Katherine Costello made the decision to ditch the car last year.

    “Getting stuck in traffic whilst driving was becoming really frustrating for me, and I also wanted to incorporate more exercise into my daily routine and do my bit for the environment, so I decided to give cycling a go to help me become happier, healthier and greener,” explained Katherine.

    “I now cycle to and from work three or four time as week. My commute can vary, depending on whether I’m working across two hospital sites in one day. I’ll sometimes cycle from home to Sheffield train station, board with my bike, then cycle the rest of my journey at the other side. If I know I’m travelling between hospitals, rather than lugging my bike on several trains, I’ll cycle to the station and then take advantage of Sheffield station’s bike hub and leave my bike there for the day. If I'm having a really lazy day and can't face the uphill cycle home, I might leave my bike at the station and walk/bus home!

    Katherine’s #LittleBigChange has not only helped take away the stress of getting stuck in traffic jams, it’s also helped her find a new hobby too.

    “Making changes to my commute has made me a lot fitter and I really love cycling now. I love it that much, I’ve even competed in my very first triathlon, The Hathersage Hilly!”

    Meet Rachel

    Rachel Stevenson webRachel was talking to the team from the Rotherham Cycling Hub at the Rotherham Show when she found out that she could get a free e-bike loan.  

    Inspired by what she'd heard, Rachel set about making her own #LittleBigChanges. She explained: “I’d tried an e-bike before on holiday in Greece and wanted to try one on home soil to see how I could incorporate it into my daily routine. I was referred to the Barnsley Cycling Hub, where I loaned a power assisted e-bike for two months. 

    "For two months, I commuted to work as a teaching assistant at Sandhill Primary School in Barnsley. My son attended this school so he followed me up every day on his pedal cycle, so it worked well for us both. I felt a lot fitter and liked the fact I was incorporating this daily extra exercise into my fitness regime. In fact, in the end I wished I worked further away so I could get the extra miles in! I was sad to give the bike back but it was great to have the chance to try it out. I’m now motivated to look to buy my very own bike”.


    Meet Steve

    Steve Edwards LBC 300x300

    Steve Edwards, Executive Director at SYPTE, leads by example as a true active travel advocate.

    “I was finding very little opportunity to get some exercise in during the day due to being office based, so I made the decision to incorporate exercise into my commute and clock up some extra miles on my way to and from the office,” explained Steve.

    “For the past year, I’ve been driving from my home in Holmfirth and making good use of the fantastic Park and Ride facilities at Middlewood. From there, I hop on the tram to Shalesmoor and then walk the rest of the way to the office on Broad Street West. I find that it’s just as quick to walk this part of my journey.”

    Steve believes that just making a little change to your usual journey can make a big difference to your lifestyle, as well as having a huge benefit for the environment.

    “Leaving the car at home, even if it's just one day a week, and getting on board public transport, or walking, can make so much difference. Did you know that walking as part of a return bus trip can provide up to half of a person’s recommended daily exercise?”

    “Your chosen mode of transport can have a positive impact on your mental health too. Research shows that 83 per cent of people feel less stressed when travelling by public transport instead of driving. Using public transport and walking for part of my journey definitely gives me a chance to wind down and clear my mind between work and home, as well as being an opportunity to get some additional exercise in the morning and evening."


    Meet James

    James Wilson 300x300

    James Wilson is a nursery worker who lives and works in the Middlewood area of Sheffield. He has recently taken to cycling as an alternative to catching the tram to work. For any trips across the city, James still hops on the tram – he’s a self-confessed tram geek! 

    James says, “I decided to make the switch to cycling as work isn't too far away from my home, so it would enable me to get some exercise done without going too crazy.  

    “I cycle or take the tram depending on what I am doing.  It’s great to have the choice and has made a big difference. Cycling on my commute has helped my fitness quite a lot, it's a small step but the change has helped me feel more energised!”

    James has also noticed a difference in his cycling ability since he started using his bike to get to work. He said, “The change has helped me achieve new goals such as being able to cycle up hills on a higher gear, using more strength and energy. It’s given me the motivation to keep fit and to work towards setting myself little targets within my daily cycle. It’s also helped me gain new skills with maintaining my bike. 

    “Before, I didn't have the motivation but now I absolutely love to get the bike out and head off.”

    If you think cycling could help you make some #LittleBigChanges, you can get the lowdown on everything bike in South Yorkshire on our cycling page.


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