TRISHAW Wheels Getting Ready to Roll in Inverclyde

7 February, 2024 | Local, Noticeboard

ELECTRIC trishaws are being introduced in Inverclyde to help people who are socially isolated.

The project is a partnership between Inverclyde housing association, River Clyde Homes and charity Cycling Without Age Scotland (CWAS), with funding from Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Local Action Group (GRILAG).

Two CWAS e-bike trishaws will be available for use by anyone living in or visiting Inverclyde who has limited mobility or is experiencing loneliness or isolation.

The specially designed ‘bikes’ were launched in 2018 in Falkirk by Cycling Without Age Scotland which now has 138 trishaws operating in more than 27 local authorities by almost 2,000 volunteers, the majority of whom are “pilots”, the trishaw riders.

CWAS recruits and trains volunteer pilots who take people of all ages, but especially the elderly, for trishaw rides, 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.

Anyone in the Inverclyde community can volunteer and undertake the required training to become a pilot, free of charge.

Christine Bell, chief executive 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 said: “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 at River Clyde Homes, said: “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.”

Those interested in volunteering or who think their organisation and/or service users could benefit should email siobhan.mahon@riverclydehomes.org.uk.

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