A group of NHS workers are putting their pedal power to the test to inspire the next generation to consider a career in the NHS and to raise awareness of the impact of knife crime.
The gruelling three-day ride from Middlesbrough to Edinburgh, via Newcastle and Carlisle, will see the team of 10 stop each day to conduct a series of talks and workshops to over 100 young people aged 12-16 years old.
Consultant vascular surgeon Barney Green, who will be leading the cycle, said: “We’re hoping the ride will introduce the youngsters to what we do in the NHS, excite them about looking for a career in any part of the NHS in the future and give them the chance to be hands on and have a go at developing some fun skills.
“There will also be a strong focus on knife crime from a surgical perspective, this is something I’m passionate about due to my work with the Cleveland Violence Reduction Unit.
“We’ll be having lots of conversations around the devastating impacts of knife crime – something I see all too often in my role.
Violence isn’t inevitable. By showcasing what we do within the NHS, rather than telling people not to carry knives, we are hoping to encourage them to make good choices that can give them a positive future.”
The ride was set up in collaboration between South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence (CURV) and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
working together to stop violent crime
The team of cyclists consists of surgical consultants and trainees, medics from His Majesty’s armed forces, paramedics, emergency department consultants and trainees, an interventional ultrasonographer and an infectious diseases consultant.
After the gruelling final leg of over 100 miles, the team will arrive at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on Friday 30 June in time for the annual Foundation Trainee Surgical Society Conference.
John Holden, head of Cleveland’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: “We’re really grateful to the NHS workers taking part in this ride – not only for the physical feat they’re undertaking, but also for their efforts to engage with young people about dangers of violent crime.
Our research tells us our best chance to reverse the entrenched patterns of violence in Cleveland is to provide education and early intervention to the next generation.
“I’m sure hearing from experienced health professionals who sadly see the devastating and lifechanging aftermath of violent incidents will have a lasting impact on the young people in attendance.”