29 October 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Cllr John Paul O’Shea, Mayor of the County of Cork, on a beautiful autumnal morning, ably led out this year’s participants in the Big Bike Ride 2015. The event, which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle for Cork County Council staff while also highlighting the Cork County Council ‘Bike to Work’ scheme. The Big Bike Ride also promotes the wonderful cycling opportunities on the Wild Atlantic Way through the various routes participants take, from a 10km route around County Hall to a 115km route from Castletownbere, facilitating cyclists of all abilities. 46 staff, in their own personal time, joined the Big Bike Ride 2015. In addition 13 members of staff also cycled on a stationary bike in the County Hall Foyer highlighting both their efforts and that of their colleagues making their way across Cork’s scenic county.
Now in its fifth year, the Big Bike Ride Since 2010, the Big Bike Ride has raised over €17,000, benefitting a variety of charities such as Down Syndrome Ireland, Katie’s Wish to Walk, CUH Children’s Ward and Suicide Aware. The beneficiary of the 2015 Big Bike Ride was The Friends of Marymount, a charity that has touched the lives of many and offers tremendous support at a time when most needed. The Friends of Marymount were also the main beneficiary of the Cork County Mayor’s Charity Ball 2015, an event which raised almost €50,000 for the charity. A recent coffee morning hosted in County Hall by Cllr John Paul O’Shea, Mayor of the County of Cork, also raised an additional €1,200 for Marymount Hospice.
The Big Bike Ride event is representative of Cork County Council employees who are well known for their generosity when it comes to charities, with staff organising various events every year. In 2014, members of staff undertook various individual charity drives and raised €4000 for Suicide Aware, €2000 for Daffodil Day and €1700 for Crumlin Childrens Hospital, to name but a few. In total, Cork County Council staff raised over €21,000 in 2014 for charities through Baking, Cycling, Running and The Ice Bucket Challenge.
Cork County Council is also working toward healthy lifestyle initiatives with the establishment of healthy food alternatives in their canteen menu together with opportunities for all employees to participate in exercise events. In the last 12 months the Council has also had two rounds of the Desk to 5km Run, their annual Pedometer Challenge, Bike Week as well as the Big Bike Ride 2015. What is worthy of further credit is the fact that these events are organised by staff for staff.
Tim Lucey, Cork County Council Chief Executive “Our greatest strength in Cork County Council is our staff. We place an extremely high value on both their contribution and dedication. With an awareness of the importance of healthy mind and body, we have placed a greater emphasis on, and encourage participation in, healthy lifestyle initiatives that will reap benefits both at work, at home and into the larger community. The staff who gave up their own time to organise and partake in The Big Bike Ride 2015, in aid of The Friends of Marymount, are to be commended as this type of an event leads to a very positive culture within the organisation and portrays a very positive image to the customers of Cork that we serve”.
Cork County Council is delighted to announce that the Big Bike Ride 2015 is also the recipient of the Public Sector Magazine Award for November, 2015.