July 1, 2022

TWO EDINBURGH volunteer teams have been recognised for their determination and devotion to improving upon their neighborhood communities at a national award ceremony.

Previous Chair of The Bike Station, Alan Brown has been recognised as winner of Active Journey Volunteer of the year. The Hit Squad from the H2o of Leith Conservation Trust were being named winners of the Group Route Group of the 12 months at 2021 Paths for All Volunteer Awards.

Alan has gained the award for his involvement with the charity for 7 yrs and his very important position in its reaction to Covid-19.

Like many, the charity identified alone in a susceptible place in February 2020 when pointers and tips from the governing administration resulted in a lot of operations staying paused.

As transport possibilities ended up restricted for the duration of the to start with lockdown, Alan and the staff at The Bicycle Station arrived up with an innovative scheme identified as ‘Hero Bikes’ and delivered totally free bikes to important workers to ensure they ended up ready to vacation to and from operate securely.

The Bikes Station’s unique grant from Paths for All’s Smarter Options, Smarter Places Open Fund was reallocated to assistance the modern scheme, which aided 207 important workers.

The group recycle and refurbish donated bikes, deliver bike & competencies coaching with the intention to produce superior related, sustainable communities.

Alan, who has not too long ago stepped down very first begun his job as trustee in 2013 covering both of those The Bike Station operations in Edinburgh and Perth and quickly turned a elementary section of earning the team a success.

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He reported: “The Bicycle Station is a excellent initiative aiding to promote cycling in the neighborhood in an accessible way.

“When I turned chair, I built it my mission to get The Bike Station to a fiscally steady location with a powerful administration group so our really hard function could be centered on the local community and not internally.

“It’s been life-transforming to be part of an organisation that works so nicely with each other to carry constructive results for the group, I have seriously appreciated the last seven yrs.

“All of the workforce at The Bicycle Station are truly interested in what they do – which actually will make all of the change.

“Throughout lockdown when we could not appear collectively to carry out our normal function, we wanted to place our electricity into a little something favourable and like most persons desired to aid and exhibit support to the remarkable entrance line employees at a seriously tough time.

“I’ve liked currently being aspect of the team at The Bike Station and seem forward to viewing the awesome do the job they do in the future.”

The Strike Squad is the typical weekday volunteer team of the H2o of Leith Conservation Belief and is being recognised for their motivation for boosting the H2o of Leith walkway and river.

The Strike Squad volunteer group has been operating for numerous a long time and just before the Covid constraints often bring in 20 associates each individual session to enhance the river and the just about 13 miles of walkway.

Based on the season, careers ranged from trimming back vegetation, raking up leaves, caring for wildflower meadows, taking away invasive species and clearing litter both of those in and out of the river.

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Like most actions, the group arrived to an abrupt halt when the lockdown very first hit to protect the security of the volunteers.

Undertaking officer Johnny Wells said: “While our volunteers stayed protected, the walkway turned the busiest it is at any time been as a essential eco-friendly room for Edinburgh citizens to escape, meet up and workout in all through lockdown”.

This huge footfall had an effects of the condition of walkway with erosion of the verges as persons socially distanced major to the walkway turning into muddier, increases in littering, erosion of river banks from pet dogs and the great summertime meant vegetation shot up.,

As lockdown constraints comfortable, the group begun doing work again with staff members, at initially just two volunteers at a time and then raising as the months progressed with far more duties occurring weekly to allow for for smaller sized teams.

Considering that April 2021 to day, the team has have done 105 sessions equating to around 2000 hrs of sensible conservation and teamwork.

Johnny defined: “Our volunteers’ dedication to being outside in all weathers doing some thing practical for the river & walkway is amazing. In excess of the past year they’ve approved and tailored to many adjustments such as us stopping the communal biscuit barrel.

“Without their exertion I’d hate to assume of how substantially tougher lockdown would have been for the public with out this environmentally friendly house. This award is a brilliant acknowledgement for the volunteer’s really hard work and dedication.”

The Edinburgh volunteers had been recommended at the awards ceremony which was held almost for the 2nd yr and hosted by Fiona Stalker.

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Alan Brown and The Strike Squad ended up between 11 distinctive winners at the 12th annual Volunteer Awards that highlighted the fantastic operate carried out by volunteers across the region.

The charity supports nearby authorities and communities to develop inclusive environments for folks to be lively no matter if walking, cycling or wheeling.

Kevin Lafferty, Main Government Workplace at Paths for All, said: “Individuals like Alan Brown and The Strike Squad highlight the extremely motive why we host an annual awards ceremony.