Scheme to get the elderly ‘cycling’

Trishaw 'pilot' Chris Heywood  with passengers Tony Nunn and Fran Dowsett SUS-180216-111404001
Trishaw 'pilot' Chris Heywood with passengers Tony Nunn and Fran Dowsett SUS-180216-111404001

A new scheme aimed at getting elderly people to enjoy ‘cycling’ is being set up thanks to a Hurstpierpoint businesswoman.

Mum-of-two Bridget Hamilton has been inspired to launch the scheme after hearing a talk by Ole Kassow, founder of Cycling Without Age - a group first set up in Denmark as a way of helping elderly people enjoy the outdoors.

Under the scheme, volunteer cyclists - known as ‘pilots’ - take local elders and care home residents out on ‘trishaw’ cycle rides.

“Many elderly people spend a lot of time indoors, frequently on their own,” said Bridget, who is now raising £7,000 to buy a trishaw - a three-wheeled cycle with a passenger cab in front - for Hurstpierpoint and Hassocks.

She said many elderly people relished an opportunity to get out in the fresh air with the wind in their hair, travelling at a bit of speed.

Bridget is now recruiting pilots and has launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise the cash. To support the bid to buy Hurst and Hassocks a Cycling Without Age bike, go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cycling-without-age-hurst-hassocks-1

Pictured trying out a trishaw in Hurstpierpoint this week are pilot Chris Heywood, who is on the Great Britain Age-Group Triathlon team, with passenger Tony Nunn, 90, who represented Britain at the 1952 Olympics field hockey team, and fellow passenger Fran Dowsett - who like Tony has mobility issues - but is still an active member of the choir at Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint.