Elderly and lonely people in Skegness will soon be able to enjoy the wind in their hair again - thanks to volunteers who have raised funds to buy a special bicycle to take them out. Cycling Without Age Skegness launched on Friday at a reception hosted by the Grosvenor House Hotel, where the bicycle, called a trishaw, will be based and stored.
Sarah Mochan came up with the the idea to bring trishaws to Skegness after watching a programme about them on television last year.
A keen cyclist herself, she said: “We want to improve the social life of the elderly in care homes and for those people who live alone and find it difficult to get out.
“Since we launched the Crowdfunding, the support has been tremendous. In total, with other fundraising events and donations, we have raised more than £8,500.”
The first trishaw, costing £6,450, was on display at the Grosvenor, along with a number of cycling helmets donated by the Ryan Smith Foundation and a mobile phone given by O2 for bookings.
Chris Sweeney, manager of Syne Hills Care Home who is also a keen cyclist and on the fundraising committee, thanked Sarah for her inspiration and drive in seeing the project come to fruition.
He said: “The support and generosity has been overwhelming - people, including the Mayor ,have turned in all weathers to help us fundraise. Donations include the website as well as the launch reception and storage here at the Grosvenor, which we are extremely grateful for.
”Thanks to everyone, this summer we will see people enjoying the exhilaration of getting wind in their hair again.”
Mark Smith was present representing his son, Ryan,of the Ryan Smith Foundation, and said: “This project has brought the community together to do something amazing. We are delighted to provide some helmets to keep a few heads safe.”
Mayor of Skegness Coun Danny Brookes, who was given the honour of making the final choice of the name of the first trishaw - choosing Trixy - said: “I was delighted to support the group in their fundraising efforts. I shall look forward to seeing people enjoying the trishaws around town in the summer.”
Fundraising is continuing to buy more trishaws, as well as a drive to recruit ‘pilot’ volunteers. For more details visit cwaskegness.co.uk or visit CWAskegness on Facebook.
* Another group has been raising money to launch a similar project for beach wheelchairs in Ingoldmells. Volunteers with the Ingoldmells and Chapel Fans Facebook group will hold their launch event at Ingoldmells Point on Saturday, April 14.
Their Crowdfunding efforts alone have raised £9,632, with a further £100 donated by Ingoldmells Parish Council. Storage for thisd wheelchair is also being provided by Russ Sparkes of the Grosvenor. He said: “I am delighted to support these worthy causes. There are so many people who enjoyed our beaches when they were young who are unable to get out now and this will change all that.”