A NEW scheme that allows elderly residents to enjoy the great outdoors by trishaw has arrived in Bournemouth.

Cycling Without Age is a non-profit global initiative that sees older communities connect with other generations through cycling.

Two passengers are positioned at the front of the trishaw while a rider, or ‘pilot’, cycles behind them.

There is also a hood and a blanket to ensure passengers are comfortable.

The scheme has been co-ordinated by Nicole Nagel and Councillor David Smith.

Cllr Smith said he became inspired to bring the idea to Bournemouth after seeing a video on YouTube of the scheme operating in Copenhagen.

After contacting Cycling Without Age in Copenhagen to find out how he could bring it to Bournemouth, he discovered Nicole Nagel also had the same idea.

Around 20 residents at the Sunrise of Southbourne care home in Belle Vue Road had the chance to experience the new rickshaw scheme.

Cllr Smith said: “We gave them all a short trip on the coast road to give them a flavour of what was to come. The old dears loved it, it was something that had never been done before.”

The residents at the care home will be able to enjoy the rides every Tuesday and Thursday.

Cllr Smith, who played the role of ‘pilot’ during the launch, had even taken his 91-year-old mother and sister out on the trishaw a few days earlier and said the reaction had been “unbelievable” with onlookers waving, cheering and clapping as they went past.

Around 20 ‘pilots’ have already signed up to take part in the scheme and will operate on a rota basis.

Cycling Without Age Bournemouth, which is run by Hope in the Community, is being sponsored by Dave Wells, Hilton Hotel, Healthwatch, Sunrise Senior living and Brewhouse & Kitchen in Southbourne.

Kris Gumbrell, co-founder of Brewhouse & Kitchen: “Brewhouse & Kitchen are pleased to be contribute to such a worthy cause, supporting the communities that have in turn supported us as we continue to grow. To be able to be a part of Cycling Without Age’s accomplishment, securing their first trishaw that will allow the older members of Bournemouth to experience something many of us take advantage of. The ability to cycle is something that is taught to children from a young age and is an experience that should not be lost as we grow older."

Each trishaw costs around £6,700 and a campaign has already been launched to get a second vehicle.

Anyone who would like to be a volunteer pilot, sponsor the scheme or nursing homes that would like to sign up, can visit facebook.com/CyclingwithoutAgeBmth or http://cyclingwithoutage.org.uk/bournemouth/