Paige Farrell ('Paigey'), Bus Driver, Stagecoach, Birkenhead. Age 30
At the end of the Stagecoach buddyboost challenge, we caught up with Paige to find out more about her experience of the challenge.
A bit of background on you and what exercise means to you
I was never really an active person and over the years a bit more weight creeped on and on and on.
What made you start exercising?
During the first lockdown I tried a weight-loss challenge with colleagues in Stagecoach – I felt sluggish and slow and generally out of puff doing any exercise. But, that started my journey. I started at 15st 9lb and got to 14lb 5st and felt really pleased. Then Christmas came and I put most of it back on 🤣 back to 15 stone!
How have you found being active helps you in your everyday life?
My mental health is much better, it’s easier to take on the day and my energy levels are higher. I have a much more positive outlook.
Why did you take part in the buddyboost challenge?
I needed a kick up the rear end as I had stalled with motivation, and I wanted to cheer my colleagues on with their journey and show support like some had with the weight loss challenge.
What did you like about the buddy concept and how did it help you?
It was different from other challenges because it was so much more supportive and easier to see what others were up to. I loved seeing what everyone was doing day by day and that’s one thing that spurred me on to do mine, I didn’t want to let the team down.
Have you seen benefits beyond physical fitness when taking part in buddyboost?
I got started again! And, I have lost more inches by taking part in buddyboost. I do weight training as part of my fitness routine so I’m losing weight, but gaining muscle so a lot of my achievements are ‘inch loss’ victories rather than just straight weight loss.
What tips would you give to someone who is struggling to be more active?
Take it day by day, do a bit in the morning then some more in the afternoon and build up that way, work out with a friend so you encourage each other. Basically, exactly what buddyboost does!
Are you going to continue being active now that buddyboost has finished?
I am refocused thanks to buddyboost and am going to continue with it.
What’s your next goal?
I have another 20lb I would like to lose, as well as some inch losses, but I’m breaking it down into segments of 5lb to not seem so daunting
Who do you think would benefit most from buddyboost and what advice would you give them?
This is your journey take it slow and steady – Rome was not built in a day, find something you enjoy and do your best. I think buddyboost is great for less active industries like busdrivers because you can fit a bit in here and there.
Paigey’s employer Stagecoach Group has had a tough pandemic. Not only did its business face huge financial uncertainty when people stopped using buses and coaches overnight, many employees quickly became ‘front line key workers’, keeping essential transport services running and dealing with extremely challenging working conditions. Meanwhile, many colleagues worked from home and others were furloughed. These ingredients created a very demanding environment for Stagecoach and its 25,000 employees.
Against this background, Stagecoach wanted an employee wellbeing intervention, but also something that could help staff engage in a positive and fun way. That’s why buddyboost was perfect to help bring together employees from over 20 different locations across the UK.
The challenge was a huge success not only on an individual level for those like Dave but also for the company as a whole with 100% of participants saying it helped them to be more active an average enjoyment score of 9/10 and a strong desire to do the challenge again later in the year.