ITV Meridian news feature above
A small independent Brighton charity, our weekly, year-round cycles provide uplifting (and often the only) outdoor activity to elders living in care homes, enabling them to interact with others and experience the sea breeze in their hair. Our volunteer cycle pilot team, with a consistent 50:50 ratio of women/men, supported by one paid staff and volunteer trustee board, rides out 12 months a year.
Smiles galore and lifted spirits; people report feeling awake again, delighted, less anxious, isolated or depressed as well as improved sleep after cycling out with us. 75% of our clients are living with dementia and all have mobility and disability challenges.
From Summer 2021 we plan to offer a wider range of disabled accessible cycling with a range of pedalling and riding options through buidling a fleet of additional adaptive, versatile cycles (including trikes, side-by-sides, wheelchair platform and recumbents) that will support people even with the most complex needs. Please donate to our first ‘side-by-side’ cycle fundraiser here.
Why it makes a difference: It’s an extraordinary thing enabling cycling. Our rides bring people who are marginalised and often cannot access the health benefits of cycling back into view, where they are truly part of the commuity, fully able to particpate.
Evidence: The Ageing Lab (School Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University) research on the most closely aligned cycling project to ours (Scotland) 2018. “There are clear benefits and impacts for care home residents, primarily a sense of freedom, enjoyment of fresh air and social interaction (with each other, the Pilots and people in the community). Staff and family members identified impacts in terms of mood, alertness and general wellbeing.” Reports from Singapore, Australia and USA additionally conclude that the more rides taken, the higher percentage increase in improvement to mood, wellbeing, alertness, mobility and activity over time.
Listen to our feature on BBC Sussex radio interview below:
Click the arrow above (left) to hear the interview.
Pedal People is hugely grateful to all our donors to date: National Lottery Communities Fund, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Rampion, Ernest Kleinwort, Paddle round the Pier, Chalk Cliffs Trust, Paley Trust, District Nursing Fund and Dementia Action Alliance. Volunteer cycle pilots have been sponsored for a year by The Westbourne Pub Hove, Ocean Flooring and Clarity Environmental.