Just because there’s frost on the roof doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the freedom of being on a bike again.
Being able to get outside is something that many of us take for granted, whether that’s part of our daily commute, to do a bit of physical activity, or simply to enjoy the fresh air. For many people, however, mobility issues and other barriers can limit being able to get outdoors.
The Cycling Without Age Carnoustie chapter hosted their launch event on Friday 31 January at the Kinloch Care Centre. Cycling Without Age is a global initiative that has quickly spread to over 40 countries. The Carnoustie chapter wants to transform people’s lives, re-engaging them with the outdoors through trips on specially designed trishaws piloted by trained volunteers. They want to provide a service to a group of people often excluded from enjoying the cycling and path infrastructure that Carnoustie offers its residents.
Some photos from launch event at the Kinloch Centre:
We have been working closely with the group for the introduction of the Carnoustie chapter. The group successfully bid for funding from the Open Legacy Fund (set up after the 147th Open Championship) to support projects and programs that will have a positive and lasting impact on the town of Carnoustie. This legacy funding allowed the group to purchase three trishaws and associated equipment.
The initiative gathered pace after securing funding from the Social Housing Fund, a collaboration between Cycling Scotland, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Living Streets Scotland and Sustrans Scotland. This fund supports residents living in social housing across Scotland by providing funding for improved facilities to make walking and cycling easier, more attractive and more accessible.
With this funding, the group bought and installed a robust storage facility, as well as the purchase of a hybrid bicycle, which are stored at the Kinloch Court Centre. This demonstrates the group’s commitment to place social housing tenants at the forefront of this project.
The Cycling Without Age Carnoustie Chapter has been led by volunteers. Lorraine Young, (Co-Chapter Organiser with Jean Brown), a key driving force for the project, said:
The objective of the project is to transform the lives of older people in our community, re-engaging them with the outdoors through open-air trips on trishaws operated by our volunteers.
At present we have 20 people signed up to volunteer with the service, of which 10 are already fully-trained, and a further 10 at different stages of training. These trained volunteers will cover a range of tasks from being a pilot, a co-pilot or a co-passenger. We would also welcome enquiries from members of the public who may be interested in volunteering.
We hope that Cycling Without Age will be a tremendous benefit to a significant number of people in the local area. Friday’s launch was an important step for the group as we aim to gradually introduce frequent sessions to support local residents often excluded from truly experiencing everything that Carnoustie has to offer
Hugh Macgregor, Development Officer at Cycling Scotland said:
We’re delighted to support Angus council and Cycling Without Age Carnoustie to help residents stay active and hope that this project will help reduce social isolation. Cycling Scotland works closely with partners to help employers, community groups and housing associations take advantage of the benefits of cycling.
Additional information about Cycling Scotland and the Social Housing Fund can be found at the following Cycling Scotland and Cycling friendly websites.