An established, independent registered charity, we changed our name from ‘Cycling Without Age Brighton & Hove’ to ‘PEDAL PEOPLE’. Our ethos and activities remain unchanged. We started out as an affiliate of ‘Cycling Without Age’ (the growing global concept of cycling with elders, that originated in Denmark). This meant we used their name (a translation). We continue to be inspired by their idea. As we’ve developed as an independent charity we wanted our name to:
- Be more easily understood by those we serve (two out of three elders we take out are living with dementia). A shorter name is easier to understand.
- Reflect our charity ethos, to include our ‘pedalling people’ (our volunteer cycle pilots) who are the reason we can do what we do!
- Have a more ‘Brighton’ style community feel.
- Distinguish us from ‘Cycling Without Age’ global hub in Denmark, themselves developing in newer directions, as we are no longer affiliated to them. This is helpful for our local funding and audience.
Having been inundated with passenger and pilot enquiries we settle on trying to become sustainable, having seen the need and delight of all involved. Much as we loved working with ‘independent living’ passengers we find that the resources required to manage this are just too large and unpredictable at this stage. We decide to work exclusively with care homes for elders which naturally leads us to expanding our training, support and work with our volunteer cycle pilots to better support people living with dementia. This strategy enables every scheduled ride to be filled, as care homes always have two passengers ready and raring to go for a ride with us. The homes can fill any spaces that might arise with passenger needs/changes in health or mood, as they work a rota of residents with us.
September: We are one-year old! Our trustee board changes as we enter our second year. Duncan hands over to Maggie as Chairperson and we welcome a Gerry as Treasurer and Alison as Secretary. Elly becomes the solo CEO (Captain) of the charity and Duncan takes on the role volunteer Maintenance Manager. Both Duncan and Elly put in many voluntary hours over the previous year. We move to a more sustainable mode of operation having secured some initial funding to continue. Duncan does all the bike maintenance but steps back in other areas in order to return more to his acting and other work.
Craig and Duncan borrow a loaner Trishaw bike from Copenhagen and take plenty of elder test passengers for a spin. The son of one of them is so impressed with the effect it had on his mother (who took a test ride) that he hugely generously donates the cost of the first bike. The bike is duly purchased proudly named after his mum, Isobel. Plans to get the bike in use stall a little with other life demands however… In July 2017 Elly Hargreave offers to join Duncan, having herself been inspired by the concept of ‘Cycling Without Age’ via social media and wanting to bring it to Brighton. She brings her communication and voluntary sector experience to add to Duncan’s bike knowledge. It’s timely as Craig moves to a new job in his own life so needs to step back but attends the launch later that year. Elly and Duncan work together for the summer seven days a week and launch the charity in late September 2017 working as Co-Captains. Duncan manages the maintenance, takes the role of Chair of trustees and Elly manages setting up the rides with care homes, PR, volunteers and fundraising – taking on the role of CEO. We are featured on local, regional and national media outlets including national BBC Breakfast news on BBC One. We recruit and train over 90 volunteer pilots with 25 going on to be fully-fledged regular volunteers. Our crowdfunding campaign raises £6500 and enables us to buy our second Trishaw bike. We’re thrilled and the community support is overwhelming and wonderful!
Duncan Henderson sees a Ted talk online about ‘Cycling Without Age’, the fantastic concept first developed Copenhagen in 2012. He and his good friend Craig set about investigating how it might work in Brighton, networking and working on the idea.