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Rotary Club of Forres is investing over £8000 in a trishaw to provide less mobile residents with local cycle trips

By Garry McCartney

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A similar trishaw to the one Forres Rotary is investing in for the community.
A similar trishaw to the one Forres Rotary is investing in for the community.

OLDER people in Forres are to be offered free, three-wheeled transport carted by volunteers.

Rotary Club of Forres has invested over £8000 in a trishaw - similar to a rickshaw but with the passengers in front - to be delivered in mid-April as part of the Cycling Without Age Scotland (CWAS) movement.

Jim McPherson of Forres Rotary, who was involved with the launch of a trishaw service in Selkirk confirmed it will be available to anyone in Forres with limited mobility.

He said: “Residents of Meadowlark and Cathay Care Homes, Cameron Court and Varis Court Sheltered Housing will be likely users, though anyone living alone and feeling isolated can benefit. We will arrange to take them for a ride in the trishaw in suitable areas such as Grant Park and paths by the Mosset Burn. It’s an opportunity for folk to get out and about as meeting and chatting with others is so important.”

CWAS started in 2017 with a pilot at Carrondale Care Home in Carronshore, part of the global project, currently operating in more than 50 territories around the world.

Forres Rotary raised the funds for a trishaw via grants from the Rotary Foundation, The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation, Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, and fundraising organised by local Rotarian Suzie de Vry which included a quiz last October as well as prize draws at the Forres Highland Games and Bonfire Night.

Ideally, the cycle will require a pool of around 20 volunteer cyclists to keep it running.

“Training for cyclists will entail a couple of sessions around proposed routes,” said Jim, “typically around an hour each, so we can show folk the layout and controls of the e-bike. It’s important to know how to help users on and off. Volunteers will also practice pedalling with passengers, as well as being a passenger with another volunteer doing the pedalling so that they will know how it feels to be in the front!”

Jim finished: “Folk do not need to be expert cyclists, basic competence is quite sufficient, enthusiasm and availability are much more important. As well as the pilots, there will also be opportunities for co-pilots who will accompany outings for safety reasons. Co-passengers will also sometimes be required; offering a great way for anyone who can’t cycle to help.”

If you would like to help, or for more information, email Forres.Trishaw@gmail.com or call 07748 725593.

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