Case study: Ribble Cycles

Normalising mental health conversations through employee health and wellbeing support

The challenge?

Ribble Cycles is one of the oldest brands in cycling and has been leading the evolution of the industry since 1897.

For over 120 years Ribble has been at the forefront of the bike industry and is continuing to give cyclists accessible, world-class products and revolutionary in-store experiences.

The recent global pandemic resulted in unprecedented demand which meant the company needed to respond and scale.

Since the beginning of the lockdown period in March 2020 the Ribble team has increased from 60 to 221 employees.

The rapid growth of the team and the strict distancing laws, (both in work and at home) was having an impact on the stress of staff.

The Operations Team were being approached by employees who were struggling with their mental health.

Responding to the challenge, Ribble invested in a number of initiatives to educate and raise awareness of mental health amongst staff. Mental health first aid training and monthly visits of the YOLO Experience were implemented.


  • Engage the workshop teams to improve physical and mental health.
  • To provide support and help to signpost to other resources when needed
  • To support the business in removing the stigma around mental health

Project delivery

At the beginning YOLO Wellbeing was delivering the YOLO Experience once a month to the workshop teams on-site.

That has now increased to offer the service to office staff too as they returned to the office following lockdown restrictions.

Delivery of the YOLO Experience has increased by 50%, to 18 days per year, to manage increased demand.

Eighteen appointments are available per day.

On the first visit only 13 staff had pre-booked YOLO Experience treatments. However, following positive, word-of-mouth feedback all eighteen appointments were filled by the end of the day.

The visits are promoted using promotional posters which provide dates of the next visit. Ribble opt to use the manual booking system as the majority of staff do not have access to email.

Challenges of delivering the project

Initially there was apprehension from some staff. A massage service for a predominantly male workforce was one challenge. And the uniqueness of the service, being delivered inside of a van with a multi-sensory experience, the fear of not knowing what to expect made it more difficult to onboard some employees.

To help with this challenge it was decided to focus on the practical benefits. For example, promoting the release of tension in tight and aching shoulders due to the physicality of the job and the benefits this could offer.

This helped to break down barriers. When early adopters endorsed the service to others, demand increased. The YOLO Experience now supports approximately 2:3 people in the business.

What are the positive outcomes?

It motivates and engages the team – when the YOLO Experience van is onsite the mood amongst staff is lighter and happier and the positive atmosphere across the business is tangible.

Although it is only a short time in a long week, we see that it illuminates staff – the few minutes staff have to switch off from work, home, and everything else, provides an escape that many wouldn’t get otherwise. The YOLO Experience offers them a safe space to off-load worries, chat about things in confidence and focus on how they are feeling. The effects are visible when staff return from their treatments.

The service is used to support those who struggle with poor mental health – some staff at Ribble are encouraged to access the service more regularly to manage their mental health. The YOLO Experience team have mental health first aid training and provide signposting to internal and external resources.

Supports open conversations about mental health – Ribble understands that poor mental health and stress has had a wide reaching impact on its people over the last few years. They identified a need to support staff with their physical and mental health. And through the various initiatives, including mental health first aid training; stress management, financial workshops, and the introduction of Unmind app, have demonstrated commitment to its employees.

The regular YOLO Experience visits support these initiatives by talking to employees about their mental health and listening; signposting them to internal mental health first aiders and guiding them on how to start a conversation about their mental health.

Visible reminder to all employees that Ribble is invested in their health and wellbeing – When the YOLO Experience van arrives onsite it is a consistent reminder to everyone in the business that Ribble is invested and cares about the health and wellbeing of its employees. It raises the profile of the business’s commitment to health and wellbeing.

Client testimonial

“Health and wellbeing has always been a priority for us at Ribble Cycles, and we have invested in a number of initiatives over the years, but I can honestly say, that the YOLO Experience is one of the most successful”.

Popularity for the service continues to grow along with our business, and we see the impact it has in lifting the mood within the workplace and helping staff with stress, both physical and mental.”

Austin Gray, Operations Manager

Employee feedback

We asked some of the Ribble team for their feedback. The questions we asked are:

  1. What benefits do you feel you get from the YOLO Experience?
  2. How does it affect your mood?
  3. How does it make you feel to know your employer is invested in your health?


For more information, please contact us or call 01772 283139

Ribble Cycles YOLO Wellbeing Case Study

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