We are delighted to support local initiative Cycling without Age (Amazing Grace) which is being introduced to Peebles by a group of local volunteers.
Steering Group leader, Jo Cunliffe, explained that the project was borne out of her friendship with Grace Aitchison who was in her 90s and lived latterly at our Riverside House, and Jo used to meet her every week. She heard about the project and thought how Grace would love it and discussed the idea with her daughter, very sadly just the day before Grace passed away.
They decided to go ahead with the idea and started fund-raising in earnest and the first ‘Trishaw’ (three-wheel cycle with a passenger cab out front) has now been purchased thanks to the generous donation from Baillie Gifford investment company and named ‘Amazing Grace’ in her memory.
In response to a request, we have offered a garage space to store the trishaw, but the plan is for a more permanent space to be built to store it.
Jo explained that the Peebles project is likely to be only the third ‘chapter’ of this project in Scotland; the original one being in Falkirk. The very first project started in Denmark and is rapidly becoming a world-wide programme and has attracted support from the Scottish Government.
Jo explained that the next goal is to buy a second trishaw as the underlying principle is to combat elderly people’s isolation and give them autonomy.
Jo commented, “You find that a lot of activities designed for older people are focussed on reminiscing and reflection, but this offers a new experience living in the here and now and helps to create new memories. The aim of the project is not just to include elderly people in sheltered accommodation or care homes but to reach out to those who maybe live in isolated circumstances. Once a second trishaw is purchased we will be able to go out in a group of 6 (instead of 3) and this will make it an even more social event.”
“Our thanks go to Eildon Housing Association for their continuing support and making the project possible by providing safe storage for our first trishaw ‘Amazing Grace’.”
Our Chief Executive, Nile Istephan said “This is a marvellous opportunity for our tenants at Riverside House and for local elderly people to get out in the community and have the chance to feel the wind in their hair. It has the advantage of bringing generations closer together using the special trishaws. We are delighted we can help out with this fabulous project by offering safe storage for the first trishaw and we wish the project every success going forward.”