Ward aims to cycle the distance from Morpeth to New York

Posted: 16/06/20

Patients and staff at a Morpeth hospital have been taking part in a cycling challenge to keep occupied during lockdown and stay motivated to exercise.

Tyne Unit, which is based at Northgate Hospital in Morpeth, have set themselves the task of cycling approximately 3,326 miles, the distance from Morpeth to New York. The unit is part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and disability services.

Thanks to a donation of an exercise bike from the Trust’s sports department and with the help of occupational therapists and therapeutic activity services staff, a patient came up with the idea of the challenge as New York is somewhere he’s always wanted to visit.

Around eight people, both patients and staff, have taken part in the challenge so far and have completed 156 miles. There is also a prize of a £30 voucher for the person who cycles the most miles to reach the target.

Occupational therapist Beth Toner said: “The patients’ routines have changed considerably as a result of the pandemic and we wanted to do something that would give them a sense of purpose to exercising.
“The challenge has been great as it gives people something to focus on and work towards. Engaging in meaningful activities is really important for our patients and the challenge has been a fun way to exercise with a bit of healthy competition thrown in. The aim is to finish by the end of the summer but we have a long way to go!”

Tyne Unit delivers two separate services. One is a hospital-based rehabilitation service for men with a learning disability and other complex needs who require a longer care pathway prior to discharge. There is also a low secure service for men who present mental health conditions who have either offended or displayed offending type behaviour, and pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

Both services are recovery focused and strive to provide rehab and treatment for patient where discharge has otherwise proven difficult.