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Kelly Marks, a Community Partnership Officer at Southend City Council, from Hockley, had always felt more comfortable in her car, relying on driving herself to and from work. When the lockdown was announced, despite not being able to work from home, Kelly realised that she was a lot less active, and wanted to do something about it.
Kelly was first introduced to ForwardMotion at last year’s Village Green Festival in Chalkwell. Since then, colleagues of hers have benefitted from ForwardMotion’s services, inspiring Kelly to get involved too. “The lockdown has given me a really good excuse to start cycling again,” says Kelly. “I needed a new way to keep fit since the gyms have closed and by cycling to work, it’s killing two birds with one stone.”
ForwardMotion helped Kelly to get a new bike in April from our Cycle Hubs, using our new socially-distant delivery service. Kelly told us that her ‘heart lit up when they pulled the bike out of the van’ and that she couldn’t wait to start getting active again. The ForwardMotion team then followed up with Kelly to make sure she was road-ready and confident enough on her route to work in Southend.
Since then, Kelly has noted the benefits of changing her commute. Kelly says, “I’ve finally stopped putting on weight as a result of the lockdown, and I feel great. I have so much more energy now!”
Kelly also has found some unexpected benefits which were the deciding factor to change her commute for the long-term. She says, “I’ve found that I feel so much better mentally. Just getting some fresh air, and the sense of achievement when you arrive is so rewarding. I’m also really lucky to get to ride past some fantastic scenery on my commute. It’s a real form of escapism. My work is emotionally very tough, and I see so many people struggling, it’s lovely to have something that lifts you out of that headspace.”
Moving forward, Kelly intends to keep in touch with ForwardMotion for further travel advice and bike tips, plus will be watching ForwardMotion’s YouTube channel with her children, to help them with their bike skills too.
On asking whether Kelly would recommend ForwardMotion, Kelly replies, “I would absolutely recommend ForwardMotion for anyone who wants to improve their lifestyle. They’ve helped me so much to not only change my physical health for the better, but my mental health too.”
ForwardMotion is proud to have helped many residents of South Essex just like Kelly to change their commute. If you’d like to benefit from taking a new form of transport to work, education or training, get in touch with us today.