Manchester bike brand Insync Bikes has helped an NHS nurse gear up for work after finding the bike she had spent months searching for.
Mental health ward sister Charlie Whiting had set her heart on the Ryedale Harriet bike from Insync’s range but found the model sold out online after the India-owned brand experienced unprecedented levels of demand for its bikes during the pandemic.
Now Insync, which has its global design centre in Manchester, has managed to track down the bike Stafford-based Charlie wanted and present it to her at one of its independent bike dealers.
And it was able to offer her the 20 per cent discount it launched for NHS staff and emergency service workers at the start of lockdown.
Charlie has continued to work throughout the crisis and cares for acute mental health patients at St George’s Hospital, part of the Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust.
With partner Patrich already a keen mountain biker, she was keen to treat herself to a bike to help her relax when she is not on duty, as well as for commuting.
She said: “I thought I’d get a nice bike for going to work on and to go for picnics and I loved the Ryedale Harriet as soon as I saw it because it’s retro looking and has a basket. I did so many Google searches but couldn’t find it. I’d given up and started looking at other bikes, but they just weren’t ‘that’ bike.”
Charlie tagged Insync in a tweet during her search and the brand was able to find the Harriet and arrange delivery. She said she has been overwhelmed by the help, as well as the public’s support for the NHS at such a difficult time.
She said: “I think some people have believed mental health services haven’t been affected but it’s been a challenge. Trying to explain to people who don’t have the capacity to understand why they need to isolate has been difficult, and we’ve been looking after people with COVID who sometimes don’t believe it exists. This is something we do every day so it’s been nice for the public to recognise the work that goes on in the NHS.
“It’s great that Insync has chosen to support the NHS by offering a discount on bikes and it’s a really nice gesture that they were able to help find my bike.”
Charlie, who now intends to cycle with her miniature Cockapoo, Lulu, in the basket, was presented with her bike by John Henry Burton, of Henry Burton Cycles, which was founded in Stafford in 1950.
John said: “I was delighted to present Charlie with her bike and think it’s amazing that Insync managed to find it for her. I’ve worked in the bike industry for 50 years, I’ve seen the good times and the quiet times, and this last few months has been exceptionally busy for all of us.
“When lockdown began and people began to want to exercise, the demand for bikes was huge and that has continued to be the case. I’ve been working longer hours to meet the demand and we’re seeing models sell out really quickly, which is great for the industry.”
Wayne Clarke, sales director at Insync, drove the Ryedale Harriet to Stafford for Charlie to collect.
He said: “Insync launched a 20 per cent NHS discount in April as we believed it was only right that we support those brave people who have had to keep working during the COVID-19 crisis.
“When we heard how Charlie had set her sights on the sold-out Ryedale Harriet, we set to work to see if we could find her one. I’m really pleased that we could assist and go some way to helping her enjoy her down-time from the vital work she is doing.”