All this week, we will be celebrating Volunteers Week 2018 by sharing the experiences of the people that volunteer their time for the groups we fund. First up is Sally, a volunteer pilot with Cycling Without Age Brighton. The group received £5,000 from our Rampion Fund in March to continue their work taking older people from local care homes out on cycle rides to feel the wind in their hair!
“Most care home residents 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. The cycles are power assisted, so no need to be super-sporty to volunteer. Our principles are generosity, slow cycling, storytelling, relationships and community. Rides are comfortable, fun, fully insured and free to passengers.
These two lovely ladies whooped with excitement all the way along Brighton seafront. So much so, I couldn’t help but join in! This precious hour brought a sparkle to their day, and mine. Dementia gave them a rather lost look upon collection at the home – then our bike took them to utter joy and delight with the wind in their hair and memory jogging moments like meeting Freddie the dog en route! The heart-felt thank you at the end was the cherry on top. Yup, this is a very special type of volunteering, I’m super proud to be part of it.”
Sally, volunteer cycle pilot.