Yesterday I went to the launch of the latest gem of a project on the Jurassic Coast, which helps those with mobility issues enjoy our fabulous coastline. Cycling Without Age is an international project that helps elderly and disabled people get out and about for free on Trishaws, piloted by local volunteers. On the Jurassic Coast we have three of these community groups, the longest established being in Weymouth which started up this time two years ago.

In August the Weymouth group covered over 600 miles with over 100 passengers enjoying routes such as Radipole and the Lodmoor Trail. They work with Cherries Residential Home, Encompass, the Ridgeway Centre, Kingsley Court Care Home, Friary Court and Help and Care. Passengers call the contact number requesting a ride, and using WhatsApp the coordinator calls on the volunteer pilots to see who is available. There is a similar set up on Portland and pilots take people around the island to see all the sights such as Portland Bill and the views of Chesil Beach from the Olympic rings.

 

Trishaw with Tony Charlton and Lesley Elliot - Copy

Trishaw with Tony Charlton and Lesley Elliot in West Bay.

 

The latest group to launch are in Bridport and they have worked closely with the local primary care team, Ammonite Health Partnership. They are following a model of collaborative practice which helps health services and local people find new ways of working together to make a difference to people’s lives. Cycling Without Age, by getting people out and about and making social connections, helps them cope with long term conditions, loneliness, isolation, anxiety and old age. Like Weymouth and Portland, the Bridport group are making contact with all the care homes in the Bridport and West Bay area and a trishaw ride is particularly beneficial to residents with dementia.

As I saw people set off and return with great glee from several trishaw rides around West Bay Harbour yesterday, I can confirm Cycling Without Age’s words: “nothing beats witnessing the joy of the elderly, pilots and personnel interact on and around the trishaw and seeing the smiles of passengers coming back from their first ride with wind in their hair, rosy cheeks and full of stories”.

For more information, and to contact about rides or becoming a pilot…….

Bridport: Tel 07570 072676. Email: CWABridport@outlook.com, Facebook @CWABRIDPORT

Weymouth: Tel 07555 416 399. Email: www.cyclingwithoutage.org.uk, Facebook @CWAWEYMOUTH

Portland: Tel 07843725935. Email: charltontony@yahoo.co.uk

Caroline Pearce, September 2021