A unique ride-to-donate initiative being launched by Beryl, the town’s bike share provider and supported by local software innovator, PLM Central Ltd, is set to bolster Watford Borough Council’s Watford Helps COVID-19 Charities Appeal. Every ride taken on a Beryl Bike in the coming fortnight will see PLM Central Ltd donate 50p to the appeal on the rider’s behalf, aiding local charities who continue to support thousands of Watfordians.

Published: 31st July 2020

As more residents reach out for help during the COVID-19 crisis and local charities are forced to suspend planned fundraising activities, for many charities, funding is as low as it’s ever been. Beryl and PLM Central Ltd’s “Ride For Watford” will give residents a chance to support those in their community by simply riding a bike, and ensuring vital charity work can continue during this time and beyond.

Residents are encouraged to take a ride for daily exercise, use a greener mode of transport to work, or enjoy a spin to Watford’s local shops to help donate to the charities appeal. This provides many in Watford with a great reason to change their transport habits to greener and more sustainable journeys.

To hire a Beryl Bike, users can download the Beryl app for free from the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android. Bikes can be picked up and dropped off in marked ‘Beryl Bays’ which are visible both in-app and on the street. Beryl will donate 20% of the total value of Minute Bundles purchased during the two-week initiative.

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster, who is also a keen cyclist, has thrown his support behind the campaign and encouraged Watfordians to participate by riding or donate by text.

Those wishing to make additional donations to help local Watford charities can text WATFORD to 70970 to donate £5 or text WATFORD to 70191 to donate £10. 100% of all donations made through “Ride For Watford” will go directly to local charities.

Bery CEO, Philip Ellis, said; “For many in Watford this is an extremely difficult time and we must support the town’s local charities to ensure the sick and vulnerable continue to be looked after. Beryl has always had a community-first approach and we are thrilled that we can partner with PLM Central Ltd to provide critical support to local charities that do so much for the town.”

“As life slowly returns to its usual pace, people are looking to take more viable and enjoyable modes of transport, something we are encouraging and enabling through our #BetterByBike campaign. The “Ride For Watford” initiative has clear benefits for those riding Beryl Bikes and crucially the wider community.”

Director of PLM Central Ltd, Niketh Shetty, said, “In difficult times like this it is essential that we show our community spirit by supporting each other. We are confident that we will overcome these extraordinary circumstances and come out of this crisis more resilient and healthy in more ways than one.”

“Every employee at PLM Central has been encouraged to use Beryl’s bikes to commute to and from work, both for their health benefits and to combat the spread of Covid 19 to adhere to our company policies.”

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “This is an incredible fundraising initiative from Beryl and PLM Central which will boost our charity appeal. We have raised £152,000 so far and I would like to thank everyone who has supported this. The money raised is going straight to fantastic local charities helping those in our town who need it the most.

“I am really pleased that these businesses have agreed to make this donation and I know it will go a long way to support the outstanding work our voluntary sector is carrying out for the vulnerable people in need across Watford. This is an amazing example of our local business community stepping up to support our town during this time of adversity.”

Watford Councillor Glen Saffery, who has been leading the Watford Helps initiative, said: “When we set up Watford Helps we wanted to get the whole community together to help those who need it most. I couldn’t think of a better way than through our bike hire scheme with Beryl. What better incentive to stay active and travel in a more environmentally friendly way than the knowledge every ride will help Watford charities and their work with local people in need? Huge thanks to Beryl, PLM and Ben Foster for their amazing support of the appeal.”

Those using Beryl Bikes are encouraged to wash their hands immediately before and after use, stay two metres away from others whilst cycling and not to ride in groups. Beryl’s guidance on safe use of the service can be found here.

For more information on the initiative, please visit beryl.cc.

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