A SCHEME helping elderly people and those with mobility problems get around on special rickshaws in launching in Monmouth.

Cycling Without Age has teamed up with the town's Bridges Centre to launch the project - the first of its kind in Wales.

The scheme - through which people who struggle to get about can use specially designed trishaws - started in Copenhagen in 2012, and there are now more than 3,500 such vehicles providing the service in 51 different countries.

South Wales Argus: Cycling Without Age, Monmouth

Team leader for the Volunteering for Wellbeing project at the Bridges Centre Marianne Piper says she believes the project can help tackle loneliness in the area.

She said: “The idea is to get people out. It’s not about getting somewhere but the journey. To get out and feel the wind in their hair again, start building new relationships and getting fresh air, little things like this that people can’t always do.”


South Wales Argus: Cycling Without Age, Monmouth

Training for the ‘pilots’ began this week and Ms Piper is believes the project will be just as important for the volunteers as it is for the passenger.

She said: “The influx of people needing somebody to talk to is massive, but the good thing is the pandemic has also brought in loads of people wanting to volunteer.

“My main requirement for a pilot is to be warm and friendly, be able to chat to the passengers and have fun. We want people to enjoy themselves and have something to look forward to.

South Wales Argus: Cycling Without Age, Monmouth

“A lot of people, especially over the last year, haven’t got much to look forward to.

“If you’re not getting out because you have mobility issues and no one can come in because of COVID then knowing you’re going for a ride with a nice person is so important and it keeps spirits up.”

South Wales Argus: Cycling Without Age, Monmouth

The Bridges Centre already has one trishaw with two more on their way with plans to launch services in Abergavenny and Caldicot while fundraising has begun in other areas such as Cardiff.

Follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/cyclingwithoutagemonmouthshire/ for updates on the launch date.