Originating in Denmark, Cycling Without Age (CWA) encourages volunteers to take older people for bike rides, using specially-designed ‘trishaws’. It aims to help socially isolated older people meet others and be physically active.
The project was brought to Scotland in 2016 by the Communities Along the Carron Association (CATCA), a Falkirk community group. In 2016 the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Fund awarded CATCA £10,000 to explore the potential impact the project could have in Scotland.
Following a successful pilot scheme, the Scottish Government provided £300,000 to set up the project across the country. It addresses many social and well-being concerns. Two passengers sharing a trishaw, along with the volunteer pilots, creates new relationships and friendships, which has proven to be one of the project’s most valuable aspects.
Scotland is the only country in Cycling Without Age’s international portfolio to receive central government funding for a national roll-out. With more than 50 ‘Chapters’ at different stages of development and operation, it is now present in almost every part of Scotland.
Mr Dey tested out the trishaws along the Blue Seaway, joined by Monifieth Captain Graham Kimmet and volunteers Alex, Gail and Linda.
He said: “It was great fun being able to enjoy a trishaw ride along the beautiful Angus coast. The initiative enables older people to once again be an active part of their communities, once again to ‘feel the wind in their hair’. I would recommend that anyone with decreased mobility gets in touch with Graham and the fantastic volunteers to again be able to enjoy the coastal air.”
Mr Kimmet added: “We started the Monifieth Chapter in April 2022 and have already seen a great interest in the initiative. Trishaw rides are available seven days a week throughout the year. They really are a great way to maintain access to the great outdoors.”