Cycling Without Age Brighton & Hove
We take our name and principles from the now globally growing concept of ‘Cycling Without Age’ that originated in Copenhagen in 2012. We are a local independent registered charity and launched in September 2017. We are managed by volunteer trustees who are also cycle pilots and the day to day organisation management is undertaken by our part-time paid Captain.
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 fundraise for all costs and have a 50/50 split of male and female cycle pilots. The cycles are power assist, 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.
Our story so far…
We are hugely grateful to all our donors to date. Each of them has enabled us to get through the set-up phase, prove our reliability and impact and enable hundreds of elder care homes residents to ride out with us to enjoy being part of the community and feel the wind in their hair. We currently run several rides a day Mon-Thurs, year-round.
2016: Duncan sees a Ted talk online about ‘Cycling Without Age’, the fantastic concept that was started in Copenhagen in 2012. He and his good friend Craig set about investigating how it might work in Brighton, networking and working on the idea for 18 months.
2017: Craig and Duncan borrow a loaner bike from Copenhagen and take plenty of test passengers for a spin. The son of one of them is so impressed with the effect it had on his mother (who took a test ride) that he hugely generously donates the cost of the first bike. The first of our now two bikes is purchased. She is duly proudly named after his mum, Isobel.
July 2017: Elly (currently Captain) offers to join Duncan, having also been granted an affiliation to the global concept of Cycling Without Age to work in Brighton. She brings her communication and voluntary sector experience to add to Duncan’s bike knowledge and experience of the project for Brighton. They work together for the summer seven days a week and launch the charity in late September 2017 working as Co-Captains. Duncan manages the maintenance, takes the role of Chair of trustees and Elly manages setting up the rides with care homes, PR, volunteers and fundraising – taking on the role of Director. We are featured on local, regional and national media outlets including national BBC Breakfast news on BBC One. We recruit and train over 90 volunteer pilots. Our crowdfunding campaign raises £6500 and enables us to buy our second Trishaw bike. We’re thrilled and the community support is overwhelming and wonderful.
2018: Having been inundated with passenger and pilot enquiries we settle on trying to become sustainable having seen the need and delight of all involved. Much as we loved working with ‘independent living’ passengers we find that the resources required to manage this are just too large and unpredictable. We decide to work exclusively with care homes for elders which naturally leads us to expanding our training, support and work with our volunteer cycle pilots to better support people living with dementia. This strategy enables every scheduled ride to be filled, as care homes always have two passengers ready and raring to go for a ride with us. The homes can fill any spaces that might arise with passenger needs/changes in health or mood, as they work a rota of residents with us.
September 2018: We are one-year old! We look forward to many more hopefully and continue to work on funding, training and support every week.
Our trustee board changes as we enter our second year. Duncan hands over to Maggie as Chairperson and we welcome a Gerry as Treasurer and Alison as Secretary. Elly becomes the solo Captain as Duncan takes on the role volunteer Maintenance Manager and remains a cycle pilot too.
Registered charity no. 1177426