Innercycle (1179976)

Innercycle brings purpose, meaning and direction to people with mental health concerns through personalised cycling plans, access to accredited therapists and practical help with career choices.

The Chief Executive of Innercycle CIO, Michael Martin, commented on Tiger Communication’s nomination of the registered charity,

“On behalf of the trustees, my colleagues and our beneficiaries, I’m thrilled that we’re partnering with a company so committed to staff wellbeing. With a management consulting background, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working alongside literally hundreds of management teams in my time, reasonably placed to observe that the ethos and ‘feel-good vibe’ among Tiger’s workforce is incredibly heartening. It’s no easy task to grow a venture while retaining talent and many organisations could learn from Tiger's example, which could help reduce absenteeism and presenteeism with significant benefits for the bottom line and individuals who work so hard.”

Mr Martin went on to say, "Devonshire NHS Trust report that every 80p spent on promoting wellbeing in the workplace can save £4 in the cost of lost productivity and replacement temporary staff, notwithstanding alleviating the devastating effect of mental ill-health on those suffering and indeed upon their loved ones. Awareness raising by Tiger and their events to help raise funds to further our work is of immense value and we look forward to developing local community projects with their support. Indeed, we welcome the help of other partners in the area and farther afield, so please get in touch with Ben Nicklen at Tiger or myself via our respective websites to learn more about Tiger Communications and Innercycle.”

Tiger’s MD, Ben Nicklen, explains the passion for supporting the work of Innercycle:

"Cycling played a significant part in the life of Tiger’s founder, Brian Hoadley, who sadly passed away two years ago. Based in the Ringwood area for over 30 years, Brian’s legacy as a keen supporter of young and old riders – often gifting equipment or sponsoring those that needed it – is being furthered by our group CEO, Stephen McCallum with the full support of the Board. Our staff have been offered one extra day's leave to volunteer with a partner charity or one of their choosing and, in valuing the wellbeing of our 43-strong team and among the wider community, we’re delighted to make this commitment during 2019. We’ll be undertaking several events throughout the year to raise awareness and to support such vital work on behalf of those with mental health concerns. Several of us in Tiger Communications are active road and off-road riders, very much believers in the benefits of cycling, as well as the value of fulfilling, purposeful work, evidenced by many staff members loyal to the firm for decades. Tiger's culture and values lend well to the aspirations for Innercycle’s beneficiaries and we look forward to fostering a long-term collaboration.”

The Innercycle charity formed to deliver support to people that are affected by a number of mental health issues. It was founded by Michael Martin in 2016 and obtained charity commission status in September 2018. The application was rather protracted and required intervention from the local MP, Rt Hon Grant Shapps. It was found that there was selectivity in registration and following internal review all eight complaints were upheld.

Michael's background is within consulting and specifically helping companies from start-up to 5/6m turnover. Mental health has been a major part of his life with his Mother being lifelong bi-polar, she sadly had five major breakdowns and passed in 2014. Michaels most recent role was as Commercial Director and COO for a wearable tech business, it was at this point after working 80-hour weeks and travelling globally he wished to focus on an idea to relate conversations he had with many people that cycling had 'saved their lives' and the challenges that people face in their everyday jobs.

Foundations of the charity are to ensure that its beneficiaries can focus on three key factors to avoid relapse.

Purpose, Meaning and Direction

The charity has a number of services available focused around a hub model, ideally a bike recycling centre and bike shop offering supply of bikes if needed for a beneficiary, these services are provided at no cost

Vocational support program, business start-up program, for those looking to get back in to work

Innercycle ask for 3 signs of readiness from their beneficiaries:

  • They are self-referring for counselling
  • They are ready to go back to work or if in work, ready to take on the help offered
  • They are ready to be in charge of a bicycle

Within the NHS, the main focus is on serious mental health issues and not symptoms that affect the majority of people operating in work on a daily basis.

During their charity commission application, they were challenged as to why there was no cut off for support to a beneficiary. However, this cut off would contribute directly to the relapse figure quoted earlier. Beneficiaries of Innercycle can sign off and sign back on after 12 months to continue involvement. At other programs including Mind, Rethink, Sane, GP practises and community health people are moved out of support and told they are ready to go back to work.

At an event hosted by the professional standards accredited registers, representing a workforce of 110,000, Professor Sian Griffiths, who sits on the board of Public Health UK noted "The NHS in terms of mental health care is broken, disjointed, ineffective and disconnected".

In 2016 social prescribing was trialled at 50 GP practises offering referral direct to front line care, a long term target is to bring 1m people off mental health registers and back to work. This trial was successful and is now being rolled out. A question was asked at the event as to 'who' is responsible for getting these people ready for work, is it the members of the registers and it wasn't answered. Michael believes that it's the responsibility of consultants like himself that bear that task, not the therapists but those who have knowledge of the commercial world.

Current fundraising:

  • Price Waterhouse Coopers bi annual "Ride Nation" event raise 300k for four charities
  • PWC Leeds have worked with Innercycle this year and they are now a nominated charity for 2019
  • Direct line insurance has offered television advertising and marketing facilities
  • Other smaller fund raising activities by individuals and companies

The charity currently has:

  • 40 accredited nationwide therapists
  • 15 cycle side supports & trustees