Cycling Without Age Scotland
1859. Christine Bell
Christine Bell, from Falkirk, is the leader of ‘Cycling Without Age Scotland’, a charity which has to date provided trishaw cycle rides to over 45,000 older people and those with limited mobility, achieving more than 15,000 miles of sustainable travel in the Scottish countryside.
Christine, who has been involved in community work since 2006, came across the concept from Denmark of volunteers taking older people out on three-wheeled trishaws and began to trial the scheme in Scotland in 2016. The scheme successfully took off in Falkirk, led by Christine and Fraser Johnston in Falkirk, who was recognised as a Point of Light in 2017. From its foundations in Falkirk, the project has received backing from the Scottish Government and was fully registered as a charity in 2018. Since then, Christine and her dedicated team at ‘Cycling Without Age Scotland’ now have 53 chapters across the country and over 2,000 volunteers helping to take out on regular trishaw rides people of all ages with mobility issues, whether from disability, dementia or lack of confidence.
In a personal letter to Christine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn of your innovative way of getting older people out cycling. As a cycling enthusiast myself, I well know the benefits of being outside on two wheels.
“Your leadership of ‘Cycling Without Age Scotland’ has brought joy and improved health to a staggering 45,000 people on bikes and trishaws. This has opened up cycling to people with dementia or other physical difficulties, improving wellbeing and reducing social isolation along the way.”
“It is one of the most rewarding and utterly joyous projects I have been involved in. It is not a job but the most fulfilling and heart-warming initiative imaginable. It gets you outdoors whilst improving the health and wellbeing of yourself and many, many others. What’s not to like?!”