Queens Cross to harness pedal power to help elderly get out and about
An international initiative to help get older people back the in the saddle is coming to Glasgow.
Queens Cross Housing Association has teamed up with charity Cycling Without Age to trial its specially designed tricycles in the city for the first time.
The aim of Cycling without Age is to improve the lives of older people and those with mobility issues. Started in Denmark as a way of helping the elderly back on to bicycles, it currently operates in more than 1000 locations across 38 countries around the world.
The tricycles are piloted by volunteers who give up their time to take older people out and about.
The Association which, manages around 4,500 properties in the north west of the city, has recently launched an Older People’s Service to support tenants over 60 who need some extra help to live independently. This includes the appointment of a new activity coordinator, to increase opportunities for older tenants to get outdoors.
Queens Cross’s director of neighbourhood services, Louise Smith, said: “Evidence shows that loneliness and isolation are two of the biggest factors that impact on the quality of life of our older tenants and is a major factor in health deterioration. By giving people opportunities to get out the house and meet others we can help break this downward spiral and this might be another option we could offer.”
Other activities currently organised by Queens Cross for older people include breakfast and lunch clubs, singing groups, cooking, dance and health and wellbeing classes.
Queens Cross will now be exploring ways of recruiting volunteers to bring in the tricycle on a full time basis as well as looking at suitable cycle routes around the area.
Speaking at the launch of the trial, Councillor Martha Wardrop said: “All the residents in the area should be able to get out and about. I feel it would really benefit their health to get them outdoors, in the fresh air, socialising and meeting friends.
“The Forth and Clyde Canal has had a huge amount of investment but we need to improve access for everyone – Cycling Without Age could change all of this. It has the potential to make a big difference to people’s quality of life.”
Queens Cross tenant Linda Donnelly was one of the first people to try out the trike.
“I think the bike’s really good. It helps to get elderly people out who can’t ride a bike and it can also get people out and meeting each other. I think it could be really good for the community,” she said.