A PIONEERING new project helping to get people with poor mobility out and about is ready to roll in Inverclyde.

Trishaws are being brought into the area in a partnership between River Clyde Homes and charity Cycling Without Age Scotland, thanks to funding from Greater Renfrewshire & Inverclyde Local Action Group.

There will be two bikes in the area for use by anyone who has limited mobility or who feels lonely or isolated.

Siobhan Mahon, a support services manager with River Clyde Homes, said: “We are delighted to introduce CWAS Trishaws to Inverclyde.

"The benefits to the elderly or those who have mobility issues are huge.

"The social interaction that comes from this activity benefits both their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Residents at Seafield Sheltered Housing Complex in Greenock were the first to catch a glimpse of the unique bikes.

Christine Bell, chief executive of Cycling without Age Scotland, said: "This new chapter of Cycling Without Age Scotland in Gourock demonstrates a perfect example of community led local development. It’s led by local people for local people.

"The vision of Siobhan of River Clyde Homes to get a chapter up and running here and her determined efforts to do so have come to fruition with the invaluable support of the generous funding from GRILAG. Huge thanks to them.

“Gillian Millar, our volunteers’ support officer and I cycled the two new Inverclyde CWAS Trishaws along the Greenock and Gourock waterfront today. It was clear to see that this location will be ‘Trishaw Heaven’ for the locals!

"It is a beautiful long stretch of seafront offering stunning scenery, spectacular views, ice creams and wide open play parks full of families with whom to engage. A simple pleasure yet an exhilarating experience for everyone involved."

The specially designed ebike trishaws were first launched in 2018 in Falkirk. Five years on the charity now has 138 trishaws operating in more than 27 local authorities and almost 2,000 volunteers, the majority of whom are pilots, the trishaw riders.

CWAS recruits and trains, free of charge, volunteer pilots all-round the country.

The aim is to help socially isolated people to get outdoors and to enjoy the fresh air, their surroundings and the camaraderie that comes from getting to know their pilots, meeting old friends and making new ones.

Councillor Sandra Reynolds said: “As Inverclyde Council’s sports and healthy lifestyle champion, I am delighted that this project, pioneered by Cycling Without Age Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government’s Active Scotland and Transport Scotland departments, now includes Inverclyde.

"The positive social, mental and physical health aspects will benefit all users. They can enjoy our fabulous coastline which has been recently enhanced by the links in the N75 cycling/wheeling/walking route.

"I look forward to seeing these trishaws being well used by many of our elderly and less mobile residents of all ages accompanied by their carers and family members and Cycling Without Age Scotland’s volunteers.”

Anyone in the Inverclyde community can volunteer for the required free training to become a pilot.

If you are interested in being on board this project as a volunteer, or if you think your organisation and/or service users could benefit from the use of the CWAS trishaws, email siobhan.mahon@riverclydehomes.org.uk