Cycling without Age Bristol helps older people in care homes feel the wind in their hair

Cycling Without Age Bristol is a new, independent non-profit organisation (registered with Charity Commission, number 1182936).

Our aim is to harness the pedal power of volunteer cycle-pilots to take local care homes residents out on free ‘Trishaw’ rides to feel the wind in their hair!

The trishaw is a specially adapted, three-wheel cycle with a passenger cab out front. Rides are free. We raise all funds for the trishaw and running costs ourselves. We rely on volunteer pedal-power to take older people out for rides.

Why is Cycling Without Age Bristol special?

Many older people living in care homes don’t get out very often. A consultation by Alive! found many older people in Bristol care homes would like to get out for some “fresh air” but are unable to make regular trips out, with some saying they only get out every few months. Volunteers and passengers alike enjoy physical and mental wellbeing benefits. Trishaw rides help older people see the city and nature close-up. Trishaw rides are fun! Passengers get a buzz from waving at passers by, feeling valued and part of their community.

  • 2,268 people were living in care homes in Bristol in 2011. Most are aged 65 or older (1,751), 2,027 were aged 50 or older (2011 census).
  • 75% of people in care homes have hearing loss.
  • 70% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.

Who are we?

Cycling Without Age Bristol is an independent, non-profit volunteer-run group started in 2018 by four Bristol-based volunteer Trustees (Emma Dyer, Elaine Hosie, Luke Turner and Micky Willmott). We are an independent organisation affiliated with the global ‘Cycling Without Age’ network. The idea for ‘Cycling Without Age’ started in Denmark in 2012. Since then the idea has spread to 40 countries. We are funded entirely by charitable contributions (grants and donations). We don’t get any money by being part of the Cycling Without Age network.

  • We have one trishaw – delivered to us three weeks ago!
  • We’ve got a fabulous part-time Project Manager – Hattie Blackmore – who has worked with us since June.
  • Rides are comfortable and free.
  • Six Bristol care homes have signed up.
  • We’re currently training the first group of volunteers.

How it works?

Volunteers cycle the trishaw to a care home and pick up two older people from the door of the home. Once seat belts are on, and passengers are tucked under a snuggly blanket or nestled under the protective sun hood, we’re off! We cycle slowly so volunteers and passengers can enjoy the ride, have a chat and soak in the surroundings. You’ll spot the trishaw on the road but we take quiet or traffic-free routes whenever we can so we can take our time. Give us wave and you’ll get an enthusiastic wave back!

  • They last about 30-45 minutes.
  • The trishaw has electrical power assist. It is fully safety-tested and insured.
  • All our volunteers are DBS-checked and trained in cycle-ability and dementia awareness

Who funds us?

The trishaw and part-time project manager are funded by grants from: John James Bristol Foundation; Bristol Ageing Better Community Kickstart fund; Quartet Community Foundation and Medlock Fund for Older People; National Lottery Community Fund; Persimmon Community Champions; Warburtons; Postcode Community Trust (part of the People’s Postcode Lottery). We’ve received generous individual donations through our page. We’re thankful for support from two Bristol-based charities:

Alive! and LifeCycleUK. Trustee Micky Willmott:

“I heard about the idea of Cycling Without Age back in 2017. I thought there must be a scheme in a cycle city like Bristol, but there wasn’t. So we set one up! We’re grateful for support and advice from many people and Bristol-based organisations. It’s heart warming to have such a fabulous response from older people, care homes and volunteers in Bristol.”

How you can help?

  1. Volunteer, email:
  2. Donate to Cycling Without Age Bristol at:

Find out more

  • Twitter ‪@cwabristol
  • Instagram cwabristol