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Pedal People (formerly Cycling Without Age) Grant Support Report

Thank you for supporting us. Your grant made a vital difference, enabling us to complete our first year of operation (we celebrated at the end of September 2018).  A first year with all the challenges of set-up and establishing our name and reputation could not have happened without your support. Thank you.

We registered as an independent charity in March 2018 and recently updated our name (formerly Cycling Without Age) to Pedal People.  Our ethos, aims, activities and charity number 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). 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! H
    • Have a more ‘Brighton’ style community feel and distinguish us from ‘Cycling Without Age’ global hub in Denmark, themselves developing in newer directions, as we are no longer affiliated to them.

How we plan to use the grant 

The £5000 grant will contribute to the sole paid worker salary, this enables training (both in bike piloting and dementia support skills) for our volunteer cycle pilots. It also enables us to provide weekly ride management and support to pilots and the care homes we work with.  All this helps us to run weekly bike rides for elders across the city, year-round, as we enter our second year of operation.

Our volunteer cycle pilots take local elder care homes residents out on cycle rides to feel the wind in their hair!  Most rarely have the chance to enjoy an outdoor adventure otherwise.  Our special ‘Trishaws’ (three-wheel cycles with a passenger cab up front) enable passengers to experience the city and nature close-up and chat with passers-by.  Cycle pilots and passengers enjoy the physical and mental well-being benefits.  We have a 50/50 split of male and female cycle pilots and the bikes have some electrical power assist.  Our principles are generosity, slow cycling, storytelling, relationships and community.  75% of our passengers are living with dementia.  Rides are comfortable, fun, fully insured and free to passengers.

There is 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 will sit and/or nap much of the day and can suffer boredom, decline in health through lack of stimulation and depression.  They rarely, if ever, get outside to enjoy the sea-air, nature and interaction with people where they live. All live within a mile of the seafront, yet over 80% say they’ve not been on the promenade for years until we take them.

 

What makes it special and why it makes a difference

It’s an extraordinary thing enabling 70-100-year olds to be on bikes. Our rides literally bring care home residents ‘back into view’. People really notice and interact with them. The passenger cab is at the front and open, so people can be seen, chat and interact with smiles and waves on both sides. We take rides at various care homes throughout each week. These regular cycle trips make journeys the length of the seafront and around parks that they cannot reach by wheelchair or walking frame. Most cannot go out alone and have limited mobility. Our volunteer cycle pilots are from all walks of life.  They make each ride a fun, healthy, interactive experience for the elder passengers. All return buzzing from the wind in their hair! We see spirits lifted, people report feeling ‘awake again’, ‘better’, ‘alive’ and sleeping better after rides out.

 

10 first year things about Pedal People

  1. 100% top scores in all categories from both cycle pilot volunteers and care homes – survey 2018.
  2. Hundreds of photographs uploaded by us to each care home, every week for them, residents and their families to enjoy.
  3. Photographs of smiles and laughter are a key evaluation indicator from our passengers especially – 75% of whom are living with dementia.
  4. 600+ rides, 2 Trishaw bikes, 10 care homes supported. Year-round rides since October 2017.
  5. 25 trained pilots took 1-2 rides per month. All undertaken basic dementia skills and awareness.
  6. Five pilot social events to meet and get know each other a bit better, exchanging stories and ideas.
  7. One successful crowdfunder raised £6500 to buy a second Trishaw bike.
  8. Built a highly engaged social media following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  9. Six ‘dementia friendly’ cuddly toy rabbits and furry seagulls have travelled onboard with us too!
  10. Our volunteer team of cycle pilots have built an excellent reputation as reliable, fun, kind and dedicated. Bringing an outstanding, much needed and much-loved service to hundreds of elders.

 

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