With many businesses seeing huge drops in trade after the UK's coronavirus restrictions began, the London-based e-cargo delivery and passenger service Pedal Me was no different, losing all their taxi trade and many delivery jobs overnight... but they've revealed that they've managed to turn the tide - and are now actually recruiting again to keep up with demand - after picking up numerous delivery jobs that have come about through the need to keep goods moving through the pandemic.
Taking on coronavirus with an e-bike
Pedal Me are not only ferrying grocery deliveries from businesses that are no longer able to do a physical trade, but they're also carrying out essential work delivering PPE and food drops to the isolated and the vulnerable. They've began working with Batch.works to deliver their 3D Printed PPE equipment to NHS hospitals, using highly sophisticated electric cargo bikes to get large volumes of Batch.works facemasks to hospital staff on the front line; Pedal Me say e-cargo delivery ensures the drops are efficient and environmentally-friendly, while saying their riders are highly trained and "adhere to stringent hygiene measures to ensure that the face shields will be delivered with utmost care."
The mask consists of a 3D printed plastic part that can be easily disinfected, a reusable rubber band and foam tape for comfort - Batch.works are donating their own material for the 3D printed parts and are volunteering their time for production and assembly, but are also crowdfunding to help with production costs.
Pedal Me say they're also delivering over 400 food drops a day around the London borough of Lambeth. With each drop weighing 15-20kg and sometimes needing to be hauled up flights of stairs, they describe the jobs as "physically and emotionally fatiguing work, but incredibly rewarding."
Co-founder Chris Dixon continues: "Little Village uses us to deliver their donated baby clothes and accessories to families living in hardship - all of these clients have come on since the lockdown. We've been continuing with Freddie's Flowers doing 240 drops a day for them, and some of our clients before Corona continue to give us bits and pieces.
"To begin with business dropped off by about 80%, so we furloughed a large chunk of staff while doing what we could to try and latch on to the shifting tranches of work that are out there. We latched on to something pretty big, and now that's meant we've had to bring almost everyone back again, and we've had to recruit to cope with demand; we're drowning in applications.
"We've had to create training to make sure all the riders are trained in appropriate aseptic technique, that they carry soap, water, and sanitiser, keep their distance, and ensure they remain safe to residents and themselves."