The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 24 November 2008

Colin Duthie gets on his bike to cycle to work

ONE South Ayrshire Council employee has taken delivery of a new specially adapted bicycle that will change his life, thanks to the Council’s participation in the national Cycle To Work Scheme.

[Pictured: Kitted out and read for action, Colin Duthie is pictured with his new bike explaining to Hazel Munro, Human Resources Officer and Councillor Brian Connolly the benefits of his new bike. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

As part of the Council’s ‘Up&Go’ sustainable travel campaign launched in April this year, the Council is committed to encouraging its employees to travel to and from work by rail, bus, bicycle, walking or car sharing. The main aims being to reduce congestion on the roads, reduce carbon emissions and encourage employees to exercise more.

As part of this commitment the Council took part in the national Cycle To Work Scheme, that enabled employees to purchase a bicycle and pay for it directly from their salary.

One employee who was very keen to cycle to work was Colin Duthie, Additional Support Needs and Performance Officer, but due to being an amputee Colin cannot use a standard bicycle.

Colin was in a road accident several years ago when he was very seriously injured that resulted in, among other things, his right leg being amputated. So for Colin the only way he can cycle is to use a hand cycle, which due to the specialist design is much more expensive than a standard bicycle.

After some determined effort and support, Colin has just taken delivery of his specially adapted hand cycle.

Colin Duthie said: “This is a dream come true for me, to be able to cycle to and from work, like many of my colleagues. I have never wanted to be treated differently, I just want the same opportunities as other employees. Being able to pay for my bicycle direct from my salary is superb..

“The support I have received from the Council has been amazing. I have a number of health problems resulting from my accident and it is important that I keep myself as fit as possible. Cycling to and from work will improve my fitness and is an ideal way to relax my mind before and after work. I would also like to think that other people with additional support needs may see me on my bicycle and think well if he can do it so can I and be inspired to take up cycling.

“I am committed to helping reduce pollution, so by leaving my car at home I feel that I am further contributing to protecting our environment along with many other colleagues.”

After seeing Colin’s new bicycle Councillor Brian Connolly, Chair of the Council’s Equality Group said: “The bike will enable Colin to exercise regularly and maintain and improve his upper body muscles and give him good cardiovascular exercise. The special design, with fluorescent strips, high visibility flag and other features will help to keep him safe when cycling. Colin will now be able to get out and about during his leisure time with his sons, making good use of the network of cycle paths in South Ayrshire.

“All employees within the Council, regardless of any additional support needs they have, are treated equally. Colin worked closely with colleagues from the Council’s Human Resources section to source a suitable hand bike for him and give him the same opportunity to cycle to work as anyone else.

“This is a clear demonstration to others who have mobility issues, particularly young people, that they can take part in activities just like everyone else if they have the right support.”

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