Quit smoking, start riding

The Breeze Ladies group met with Andy Burnham and Chris Boardman
The Breeze Ladies group met with Andy Burnham and Chris Boardman
Share this article

A Wigan mum rubbed shoulders with the Greater Manchester Mayor and a cycling hero as part of a campaign to support people trying to give up smoking.

Sandra Green met with Andy Burnham and Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, for the Make Smoking History project, a Greater Manchester-wide scheme.

She did so under the auspices of the Breeze Network, a womens’ only volunteer led cycling group, of which she is the champion for Wigan.

The 49-year-old from Spring View, was asked to join the anti-smoking initiative after organisers had seen her efforts with the Breeze Network.

She told the Post how the social support structure of the campaign caught her interest.

“It’s a mass survey getting people’s views on what they think about smoking, whether they want smoke-free areas in parks etc.” Sandra said.

“It’s also about getting the message out there that we want people to cut back on smoking.

“It was something that appealed to me because you can see such an impact of smoking. I have relatives who have developed COPD through smoking.”

She added: “I have quit smoking myself and seen the benefits from a health point of view. I haven’t smoked for over 20 years, since when I found out I was pregnant. But this has really helped others quit, and show them that if they fall off the wagon, it’s about getting back on and never stopping.”

She also praised Andy and Chris for their support for the project, which they have both championed.

“Meeting Andy was so brilliant. I took our group of ladies from Breeze with us. He was so nice and supportive and relaxed.

“And to get Chris Boardman, a cycling hero, was a dream come true. It was really good fun, they were really receptive. Chris was also excited to hear our views on cycling too - it was good for him to hear from a grass roots cycling group.”

Sandra has been running the Breeze ladies group since 2011, after finding it difficult to find other females to go cycling with.

The group aims to highlight the benefits of cycling in a social atmosphere for womens’ mental health and wellbeing.

For more information, visit facebook.com/breezewigan.