Air pollution affects us all with every breath we take, and Nottingham- based charity RideWise work to make a difference to our communities, businesses and lives by improving the way we travel.

Many factors contribute to air pollution but transport is said to be one of the biggest polluters, and charities like RideWise are trying to raise awareness that the problem needs to be resolved by it being classed as a “global emergency”.

RideWise try to promote affordable, accessible and green forms of transport, which co-insides with Nottingham City Council’s sustainable programme, ‘Carbon Neutral Nottingham 2028‘, which has the aim of being the first carbon-neutral city in the UK by 2028.

“We give people real solutions and opportunities to change the way that they travel.”

The Carbon Neutral Action Plan sets out high-level objectives to achieve a resilient and sustainable Nottingham. Some of the main themes they are covering are:

  • Carbon reduction measures
  • Carbon removal
  • Resilience and adaption
  • Ecology and biodiversity

This sustainable programme has met its first-year target which has helped to play a part in Nottingham being labelled in 2020 as the “third most sustainable city in the UK”.

Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%.

Video: Nottingham City Council explains how it is tackling climate change

The chief executive of RideWise, Helen Hemstock, says that it is “genuinely important and it’s not just transport, it’s a way to better quality jobs, it’s a way to getting to good quality education.”

Ridewise help around 10,000 people a year, have 500 bikes for hire for all ages, and sell refurbished bikes at a reduced price.

Audio: Helen Hemstock of RideWise explains the charities’ aims

Some forms of green transport, for instance walking and bike riding, have been said to  help with individual’s mental health as well as their overall quality of life.

Mental Health Foundation released that being physically active can reduce the risk of depression by 30%, and to those suffering it, it can be a form of treatment. RideWise like to promote this, and do so by hosting every Saturday group sessions and rides.

If you are Nottinghamshire-based, and in need of some help and support for your mental health, contact:

  • Mind, Nottinghamshire: 0800 470 0203
  • Turning Point, Nottinghamshire Mental Health Helpline: 0808 196 3779
  • Real Lives, Nottingham: 07706 625 144

If you wish to donate to RideWise and/or find out more information about the charity, then contact:

  • RideWise Office: 0115 9552288. (Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm.)
  • RideWise Bike Workshop: 07874 353999.