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 are renowned for our balanced gender ratio of cycle pilots. Around 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.
What makes it special and why it makes a difference
It’s an extraordinary thing cycling with elders. Our rides literally bring care home residents ‘back into view’. The passenger cab is up front and open, so people are really noticed. Passers-by chat and interact, resulting in smiles and waves on both sides. Our regular cycle adventures throughout each week travel the length of the seafront and around parks that these elders cannot reach by wheelchair or walking frame. Most cannot go out alone and have very limited mobility. Our volunteer cycle pilots are from all walks of life. They make each ride a fun, healthy, interactive experience. All on board the bikes return buzzing from the wind in their hair! Smiles galore, we see spirits lifted, people report feeling ‘awake again’, ‘alive’, ‘delighted’ and sleeping better after rides out.
There can be a lack of resources for fun, interactive, community-based, physically beneficial outdoor activity for elders living in care homes. Most haven’t had the feeling of freedom and joy of being on a bicycle for many years. They’re relatively ‘hidden’, even though they live just around each corner from us all. Many sit or nap much of the day and can suffer boredom, decline in health through lack of stimulation and depression. Many rarely, if ever, get outside to enjoy the sea-air, nature and interaction with people where they live.
Pedal People is hugely grateful to all our donors to date. Each of them enabled us to get through the ‘set-up’ phase, prove our reliability and impact and enable hundreds of elder care homes residents to ride out with us to enjoy being part of the community and feel the wind in their hair.
Registered charity no. 1177426