There have been a couple of news stories of late which have really captured my attention, stories about new schemes to help older people carry on enjoying the fun of cycling even when they are no longer capable of doing the cycling themselves. One such scheme is currently the dream of some local residents here in Musselburgh, Ewan and Morna. They have set up a just giving page to try to help raise the £7000 needed per bike. Ewan had seen this type of thing in denmark, but never thought for a second that it could take of in the UK and now here is he part of the movement making it happen.
The Cycling Without Age scheme gives people in residential care or otherwise stuck in their own homes the chance to get out into the fresh air. This is an important aspect of the scheme for Ewan, he is keen that not only the elderly benefit from this opportunity but other residents with mobility issues too. Specially adapted trishaws (awesome passenger carrying bikes) take these people out on traffic-free routes. This then lets the pilots (person riding the bike) and older people (enjoying the ride) share stories and experiences. As you can imagine, this has already had tremendous success in more cycling friendly countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands, and Scotland’s first chapter was started in Falkirk where the scheme gained national attention and has won prestigious recognition at the Pride of Britain awards. You can find out more about Cycling without age from their website: http://cyclingwithoutage.org/about/
Kate & I, being Musselburgh residents and keen cyclists, completely support Ewan and Morna with this project hence why we thought we’d share their story, but as always, please don’t feel pressured into supporting this scheme, we are just trying to raise awareness and do our bit to help something we think is really worthwhile. Although it would be amazing if you could spare a few pennies to help.
A local charity group “Walk With Scott Foundation” got in touch with Ewan and Morna and offered to match their funding if they could make the £3500 mark, which they did in January, so that has secured one bike, but there is still insurance, storage maintenance etc. Ewan is hopeful that they may even manage to raise enough funds for two bikes and a town the size of Musselburgh would definitely benefit from having two bikes.
You can read about the Falkirk success: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-40728410
or watch a video from the BBC