First older residents taken out by Rochdale Cycling Without Age volunteers
Date published: 06 October 2021
Rochdale Cycling Without Age
A new initiative to improve the lives of older people who are feeling socially isolated and lonely officially launched on Thursday (30 September) at Hare Hill Extra Care in Littleborough.
Non-profit group Rochdale Cycling Without Age aims to tackle loneliness by taking senior citizens out into the community on free bike rides, using a specially adapted ‘trishaw’ – a three-wheel cycle with a passenger cab in front.
Started by Dianne David, of Littleborough, who used to work in the adult care sector, Rochdale Cycling Without Age took several senior citizens out into the fresh air during the launch at the Rochdale Boroughwide Housing scheme.
The cost of the trishaw was part funded by the Pennines Township earlier this year and local councillors had the chance to ride as passengers on the day.
Dianne said: “The weather was truly awful, but we still managed to have a great day. We took some older people out on our brand-new trishaw and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“One lady dressed up for the occasion and brought a Union Jack to wave whilst on the ride. The passengers gave really positive feedback with one saying, ‘I loved the fresh air, meeting people and I haven’t done anything like this for years’ and another saying she had a brilliant time and found it exciting.”
“A number of councillors from Pennines Township who contributed a large percentage of the funding for the trishaw attended and some of them had a go as passengers. They loved the idea and pledged to continue to support the project,” said Dianne.
“The comments support our belief that we can improve the lives of older people who are feeling socially isolated and lonely by getting them out and about in the fresh air on the trishaw.”
Rochdale Cycling Without Age has also been chosen as the beneficiary charity of the year by NCompass, an organisation which supports unpaid carers in their caring role. Funds raised by NCompass will go towards the costs of a second trishaw.
Dianne added: “The representatives were blown away by the trishaw and the fun that the passengers were having.”
She continued: “We are now looking for older people with mobility issues who are socially isolated or lonely to get in touch so that we can arrange to take them out on trishaw rides.
“We would also like people who want to become volunteer pilots to get in touch.”
Rochdale Cycling Without Age was borne out of the global Cycling Without Age movement, which tackles the loneliness and isolation experienced by senior citizens when they become confined to their own homes.
Having recently reached the UK, Cycling Without Age was launched in Copenhagen in 2012 by Ole Kassow, enabling volunteers to visit local care and senior citizen facilities around the community to offer residents an opportunity to be a passenger.
Since launching, communities over the UK have been inspired to rally together and fund more trishaws so that they can offer local elderly residents the freedom to get outdoors and explore the world around them.
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