An inclusive initiative allowing elderly and disabled people to experience Scotland’s natural beauty
Graeme recently visited the Monifieth Chapter of Cycling Without Age Scotland to showcase the unique initiative that gives elderly people and those with restricted mobility the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in the heart of our community.
Originating in Denmark, Cycling Without Age (CWA) encourages volunteers to take older people for bike rides, using specially designed ‘trishaws’. It aims to help socially isolated older people meet others and be physically active.
The project was brought to Scotland in 2016 by the Communities Along the Carron Association (CATCA), a Falkirk community group. In 2016 the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Fund awarded CATCA £10,000 to explore the potential impact the project could have in Scotland. Following a successful pilot scheme in Falkirk, the Scottish Government provided £300,000 to set up the Cycling Without Age (CWA) project across the country. The goal to enhance and enrich lives by giving elderly and disabled people access to the beautiful outdoors through pioneering trishaw rides, access which is denied to so many people simply because of age or limited mobility.
In a society with a growing number of elderly people living in care or alone at home, this project addresses many social and wellbeing concerns. The act of two passengers sharing a trishaw, along with the volunteer pilots, creates new relationships and friendships, which has proven to be one of the most valuable aspects of this project. Elderly people are brought back into community life, stories are shared and health and wellbeing improves for everyone involved.
Generously supported by the Scottish Government, the only country in Cycling Without Age’s international portfolio to receive central government funding for a national roll-out, and with further support from more than 50 other organisations and individuals, Cycling Without Age Scotland has gone from strength to strength. With more than 50 “Chapters” (branches) at different stages of development and operation, it is now present in almost every part of Scotland.
As a ‘grass roots led’ organisation, each CWA Chapter is unique to the community in which it operates.
It was great fun being able to enjoy a trishaw ride along the beautiful Angus coast. The initiative enables older people to once again be an active part of their communities, once again to “feel the wind in their hair”.
I would recommend that anyone with decreased mobility gets in touch with Graham and the fantastic volunteers to once again be able to enjoy the coastal air.
Graeme visited the Monifieth Chapter, where he was able to test out the trishaws along the Blue Seaway. He was joined by Monifieth Captain Graham Kimmet and volunteers Alex, Gail and Linda.
– Captain of the Monifieth Chapter of Cycling without Age Scotland, Graham Kimmet
We first started the Monifieth Chapter in April 2022 and we have already seen a great interest in the initiative.
It was great to have Graeme come along and see what we do first-hand. Trishaw rides are available 7 days a week throughout the year and I would encourage anyone that is interested to reach out. They really are a great way to maintain access to the great outdoors.