The annual NHS Stoptober campaign encourages people to quit smoking during October. This year, though, BetterPoints user Danni decided to take part in a different way: she gave up her car.
Danni lives in Leicestershire with her young son and joined the council’s Choose How You Move BetterPoints programme.
She had been cycling to work for a number of months but found the needs of her toddler meant she was having to use her car for much shorter journeys.
‘Being a single mummy to a toddler,’ Danni said, ‘I regularly found myself making very short journeys by car to drop him off at either one of his grandmothers or nursery. Each of those journeys is less than five miles.’
So, when the annual Stoptober campaign came around, Danni took up the challenge in her own way. ‘I have given up my car,’ she told us in October.
‘The day before the challenge started I went to a bike shop and bought my son a trailer and a helmet. Now we do our journeys to nursery and the grandmas by bike.’
Although some of her other regular journeys are less manageable with a bicycle and trailer – ‘It’s tricky to do a large food shop’ – the car remains absent: ‘I’ve been doing regular small shops on foot,’ Danni said.
Danni has also tried travelling more by public transport. ‘This weekend we visited my boyfriend in Northampton and we went by bus,’ she said. ‘It made me realise the value of the car for big journeys and it’s irrelevance for short journeys.’
‘It has been a complete eye-opener. It’s transformed my commute and made me realise that unless I am travelling a distance – or the weather is really bad – biking is better.’
Danni had earned more than 20,000 BetterPoints when we spoke to her and had already rewarded herself with a £10 voucher for Evans Cycles.
But her financial gain didn't end there.
‘I saved over £140 on petrol this month alone,’ she said. ‘My only travel was several bus fares into town and on days out to see friends.
‘Plus, I now have a bike trailer I can use for a long time – until my little boy gets too heavy, but that is another challenge all of its own!’