Cycle scheme to benefit elderly

Emma Harper is pictured with a representative from CWA and one of its bikes.
Emma Harper is pictured with a representative from CWA and one of its bikes.

A local MSP is hoping to bring a scheme to the Dumfries and Galloway area aimed at tackling social isolation and promoting physical activity among older people.

Emma Harper is setting the wheels in motion to let residents at a care home in the area try out a specially-made passenger bike provide by the Cycling Without Age (CWA) project.

Backed by the Scottish Government following a successful trial period in Falkirk, the scheme involves volunteers taking older people around the community on the bikes to meet friends, to get some fresh air and see more of the local area.

Ms Harper has been liaising with CWA and care homes in the area so that one the adapted bikes can be brought to the region for a day, with the potential for one to be purchased by the home, on a permanent basis, like other care homes in Scotland have chosen to do.

She said: “I’m determined to bring this project to Dumfries and Galloway so older people in this part of Scotland don’t miss out and are able to enjoy the benefits offered through this exciting initiative.

“If the bike proves to be successful then it is hoped the care home will purchase their own adapted bike so the residents can live happier and more fulfilling lives.

“I also believe this will help make persons with dementia more responsive as when residents are taken out to parts of the town or village they haven’t seen for a long time it will provoke memories and nostalgia.”