Free rickshaw rides around popular local beauty spots to improve mental health and wellbeing of residents experiencing social isolation.
Six friends and I set up a charity called Beartown Rickshaw to improve the mental health and wellbeing of local residents who, for whatever reason, have difficulty getting out from their four walls. We offer free rickshaw rides into the fresh air to give them a wind in their hair experience taking them to local beauty spots such as, Congleton Park, Astbury Mere or Biddulph Valley Way. We also want to show people how we can be safe and happy getting about the town with pedal power.
Through various charitable donations we managed to purchase a rickshaw early in 2022.
Our vision is not only to improve the mental health of residents but also to create a cohesive group of volunteers who feel good about helping those who are less fortunate. One of our volunteers commented that she feels "honoured" to be able to help people by riding a rickshaw.
We interface with care home activity coordinators and one of these, Rimone Brady at Greengables, spoke to us about what the rickshaw means to her and her residents.
There is an ongoing training programme for rickshaw riders to ensure they can operate the e-assist trike safely, carry passengers safely, and assess the suitability of routes. We now have 15 fully trained rickshaw drivers and are recruiting others. In addition, we have a further 10 volunteers who help with outriding, administration and rickshaw maintenance. We have a safeguarding and DBS policy.
Need for funds
We are fundraising to keep the rickshaw in service since it is a high maintenance item. Besides needing essential spares and PPE we want to run the rickshaw for more hours per day and more days per year; also, to provide the volunteer team with opportunities to get together and catchup, since only two volunteers work together in any one session. The money we raise will be spent on items including: -
Insurance, travel, servicing, DBS checks, promotion, auditor, web hosting, spares, 3 volunteer meetings per year to update and provide peer support, items to allow us to operate for more hours per day and more days per year including: body warmers, spare cushion, battery and warm blanket.
"Both Jean and myself had a wonderful trip out. We really enjoyed it. Such a kind and generous thing that you’re all doing. Thanks so much
" Cassie Pilling - Activities Coordinator Bradwell Court Care Home
"Thank you so much. You made mum’s day and made our family happy too to see her so happy
" Margaret Whelbourn
Care home feedback
"Our residents look forward to their turn and come back full of chatter and laughter to share their experiences from being out and about." Rimone Brady, Activities Coordinator, Greengables Care Home