River Clyde Homes brings Cycling Without Age Scotland to Inverclyde

River Clyde Homes brings Cycling Without Age Scotland to Inverclyde

River Clyde Homes has been intrumental in bringing Cycling Without Age Scotland (CWAS) to Inverclyde.

Thanks to funding from Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Local Action Group (GRILAG) for the purpose of delivering community-led local development, the Inverclyde area will now have two CWAS e-bike trishaws available for use by anyone living in or visiting Inverclyde who has limited mobility or is experiencing loneliness or isolation.

And residents at River Clyde Homes’ Seafield Sheltered Housing Complex in Greenock were lucky enough to get a first glimpse!

The specially designed ebike trishaws were first launched in 2018 in Falkirk by Cycling Without Age Scotland, a registered charity. Only five years later, it now has 138 Trishaws operating in more than 27 local authorities and almost 2,000 volunteers, the majority of whom are “Pilots” - the Trishaw riders.

CWAS recruits and trains, free of charge, volunteer Pilots all-round the country. They take people of all ages, but especially the elderly, for Trishaw rides – and the rides are also completely free of charge. The aim is to help socially isolated people to get outdoors and to enjoy the fresh air, their surroundings and the camaraderie that comes from getting to know their Pilots, meeting old friends and making new ones.

That camaraderie is great for the Pilots too, as is the fulfilment they get through enhancing and enriching their passengers’ lives, a positive impact that is abundantly clear from the passengers’ beaming smiles and laughter that these ride prompt. The project also encourages physical activity as, being power-assisted ebikes, these Trishaws can be ridden by virtually anyone, no matter what their physical strength or cycling ability.

Anyone in the Inverclyde community can volunteer to join this new branch of Cycling Without Age Scotland and undertake the required training to become a Pilot. That is all free of charge, and of course all our rides are also always free of charge.

Christine Bell, CEO of Cycling without Age Scotland, said: “This Chapter (branch) of Cycling Without Age Scotland in Gourock demonstrates a perfect example of community led local development: it’s led by local people for local people.

“The vision of Siobhan Mahon of River Clyde Homes to get a Chapter up and running here and her determined efforts to do so have come to fruition, with the invaluable support of the generous funding from GRILAG; huge thanks to them.

“Gillian Millar (our Volunteers’ Support Officer) and I cycled the two new Inverclyde CWAS Trishaws along the Greenock and Gourock waterfront today. It was clear to see that this location will be ‘Trishaw Heaven’ for the locals! A beautiful long stretch of seafront offering stunning scenery, spectacular views, ice creams and wide open play parks full of families with whom to engage. A simple pleasure yet an exhilarating experience for everyone involved.”

Councillor Sandra Reynolds, who also attended the event at Seafield House, added: “As Inverclyde Council’s Sports and Healthy Lifestyle Champion, I am delighted that this project, pioneered by Cycling Without Age Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government’s Active Scotland and Transport Scotland departments now includes Inverclyde. The positive social, mental and physical health aspects will benefit all users.

“They can enjoy our fabulous coastline which has been recently enhanced by the links in the N75 cycling/wheeling/walking route. I look forward to seeing these trishaws being well used by many of our elderly and less mobile residents of all ages accompanied by their carers and family members and Cycling Without Age Scotland’s volunteers.”

Siobhan Mahon, support services manager, commented: “We are delighted to introduce CWAS trishaws to Inverclyde. The benefits to the elderly or those who have mobility issues are huge. The social interaction that comes from this activity benefits both their physical and mental well-being.”

If you are interested in being on board this project as a volunteer, or if you think your organisation and/or service users could benefit from the use of the CWAS trishaws, please email siobhan.mahon@riverclydehomes.org.uk

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