Watch our ITV Meridian news feature above
Our volunteer cycle pilots ride out together with elder care homes residents – so they can feel the wind in their hair. Many elders rarely have the chance to enjoy an outdoor adventure otherwise. Our special ‘Trishaws’ (three-wheel cycles with passenger cab up front) enable them to experience our city and nature close-up and chat with passers-by. All riding the bikes enjoy the physical and mental well-being benefits. We maintain a consistent 50:50 balance of women/men volunteer cycle pilots. At least 75% of our passengers are living with dementia. Rides are comfortable, fun, fully insured and free to elders. We are a small, local Brighton charity. We run several rides a day from elder care homes, year-round. Donations always welcome.
We are currently looking at the possiblity of adding an inclusive cycling hub for disabled children and adults to our work – see contact page for more info.
What makes it special and why it makes a difference: It’s an extraordinary thing cycling with elders. Our rides bring care home residents ‘back into view’. Smiles galore, we see spirits lifted, people report feeling awake again, delighted, less anxious or depressed as well as sleeping better after rides out.
Evidence: Similar cycle projects exist globally. The Ageing Lab (School Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University) published research on the most closely aligned cycling project to ours (Scotland) in 2018. It concludes: “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. Registered charity no. 1177426.