Cycling Without Age Scotland gallivants to Eildon development
There was a fantastic buzz of excitement around an Eildon extra care housing development last week when Cycling Without Age Scotland launched its first Trishaw ‘Galavanter’ for Galashiels.
The new partnership with Energise Galashiels Trust was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Wilkie Gardens on May 11 conducted by Braw Lass, Abbie Hood.
Cycling without Age is a global initiative that began in Denmark in 2012 and has now spread to 40 countries. The idea is for trained volunteers to take people on cycle rides in their local area on specially designed trishaws. The ethos is to give people “the right to wind in their hair, the right to experience towns, cities and nature close up and giving people the opportunity to tell their story in the environment where they lived their lives”.
Mandy Johnstone, extra care housing manager at Wilkie Gardens, said: “This was our first public social event at Wilkie Gardens since the official opening last November. We invited guests from neighbouring Glenfield Court, Oakwood Park, Abbotsford court and Cornmill Court. and lots of tenants and guests were delighted to ride in the brand-new trishaw as this great service is open to everyone in the community.”
Guest speaker Christine Bell, chief executive of Cycling Without Age Scotland, said she was delighted to be able to launch the Galashiels ‘Chapter’ which was only made possible thanks to the tireless fundraising of the project team, Jim and Sheila Johnston. The funds supplied by Energise Galashiels Trust enabled the purchase of the Galavanter trishaw and accompanying pilot bike.
Cycling without Age Scotland has the backing of the Scottish Government as the benefits are clearly evident, crossing all generations and have been well documented by Heriot-Watt University. However, the project relies on support from the community to make it a success, with volunteers trained as drivers of the trishaws called pilots. Anyone interested in this is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judith Cleghorn, Energise Galashiels Trust, gave thanks to everyone involved in the project: Christine Bell of Cycling Without Age. Scotland, the Energise Trust, Jim and Sheila Johnstone, Braw Lass Abbie Hood, SBC, the Focus Centre and the Diamond Cycle Centre who have agreed to maintain the trishaw and pilot bike, all the volunteer pilots, and Eildon Housing for hosting the event.
June Pringle and Violet Donaldson, both tenants of Wilkie Gardens, after their ‘birl’ on the trishaw said: “It was absolutely brilliant, and we would definitely want to go on it again.”
Violet added: “I loved it. It was a change from anything else and it was so great to be out in the fresh air.”