Falkirk pilot cycle scheme to be rolled out nationally

An innovative scheme which helps older people is to be rolled out across Scotland after the Falkirk pilot proved a massive success.

Tuesday, 8th August 2017, 6:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:52 am
Fraser Johnston, back, with Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman and Burnbrae Care Home resident Wiillie Kerr. Picture: Michael Gillen

Cycling Without Age is a movement which began in Denmark, but was adopted by Falkirk charity Communities Along The Carron (CATCA) organiser Fraser Johnston, from Larbert, who witnessed it in action on a trip there.

The scheme sees 20-year-old Fraser pedal a trishaw with older passengers from local care homes or individuals who struggle to get out of their own homes.

It gives older people social and health benefits and allows younger people to interact with older generations and an online BBC video about the scheme went viral with more than 26 million views.

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman visited the project – which is benefitting from funding of £36,000 from the Scottish Government and European Social Fund – to pledge additional support for similar projects across Scotland.

Fraser said: “Within Scotland we’ve had huge enthusiasm from a vast number of care homes, a huge surge in the number of volunteers interested in being involved, and a lot of individuals around the country wanting to do what we have done here in Falkirk and start their own chapters to give more elderly residents the right to get out and get the wind in their hair.”

Ms Freeman said: “We’re already providing some financial support for the scheme here in Falkirk and we want to see this great initiative spread nationwide.”