Pedal power project to help older people

Falkirk MSPs Angus MacDonald and Michael Matheson were keen to  try the bicycle ride
Falkirk MSPs Angus MacDonald and Michael Matheson were keen to try the bicycle ride

Award-winning community volunteers have launched a scheme aimed at getting the district’s senior citizens interested in their work.

Communities Along The Carron Association is the first group in the UK to get involved with the Cycling without Age initiative.

27-03-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. CARRONSHORE. Carrondale Care Home. Communities Along The Carron launch cycling initiative. Cycling Without Age Falkirk. Ian Howarth, chairperson Communities Along the Carron Association.

27-03-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. CARRONSHORE. Carrondale Care Home. Communities Along The Carron launch cycling initiative. Cycling Without Age Falkirk. Ian Howarth, chairperson Communities Along the Carron Association.

Using two specially designed ‘Trishaws’ it has already taken OAPs from Carrondale Nursing Home on a tour of the river to show them the kind of work they do and encourage them to join in!

The plan is to recruit more residential home partners and expand the service to give even more pensioners the chance to experience the great outdoors.

For CATCA, who won The Queen Award for Voluntary Service last year and the conservation and environment category at the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards for the second time in a row last week, this project is a perfect match for what they want to do.

Project lead Fraser Johnston said: “We first came across Cycling without Age when it was suggested to us by Mark Meechan of Falkirk Council who discovered it on a trip to Copenhagen and suggested we include it in our application to the Climate Challenge Fund last year with the aim to explore and launch the initiative within a year.

Stuart Barber.

Stuart Barber.

“Over the winter we bought the Trishaws, checked out local routes and established a partnership with Carrondale. Our first passengers were a bit hesitant to begin with, but by the time they got back were eager to find out when they can head out again.”

After the official launch of the scheme at Carrondale on Monday attended by Falkirk MSPs Michael Matheson and Angus MacDonald, CATCA project co-ordinator Christine Bell, said: “With the wide ranging age group of CATCA members and the huge potential this project has to establish intergenerational connections within our communities, we think the added value we can bring to Cycling Without Age is immeasurable.

“From fish in the classroom and community gardens to bushcraft skills and river maintenance, CATCA has a high level of experience in engaging with often marginalised groups in voluntary activities.

“Additionally, thanks to the outstanding work by Falkirk Council, Central Scotland Green Network and Sustrans, we have over 600 kilometers of path networks in our area to explore and look forward to Cycling Without Age becoming a huge part of that.”