CARE home residents can get out and about in a specially designed rickshaw again after the service was relaunched post-pandemic.

York Bike Belles’ Cycling Without Age Rides had been put on hold since March 2020 due to Covid-19, but the service is now back to take care home residents around the city free of charge.

The volunteer-run business uses a special-assist rickshaw called ‘Trixie’ to improve the wellbeing of residents, by taking them out in the fresh air and getting them more involved with the wider York community.

Sheridan Piggott, programme manager of York Bike Belles, said: “We’re so excited to be able to restart Cycling Without Age Rides again and help our care communities recover from the pandemic.

“Care home residents have had an extremely challenging time during Covid-19 - wheeling along, passengers can sit back, relax, look at the sky, chat and feel part of life again. Many are even inspired to burst into song!”

Sheridan said that, according to an Age UK report in July 2021, the pandemic has left ‘deep physical and emotional scars' on a significant proportion of our older population.

The Rides work to boost better mental wellbeing for residents by getting them out in fresh air and socialising with others, enjoying the city outside of their care homes.

Libertee Hull, wellbeing coordinator at Chocolate Works Care Village, said: “The rides give the residents the opportunity to get outside which, since the pandemic, is the most important thing. Our residents get mentally and physically stimulated on the bike which helps them keep healthy in general, and with all sorts of mental health. We are all very keen and excited to have the rides back.”

York Bike Belles has been able to get back up and running thanks to funding from The Feoffees of St Michael’s Spurriergate, Ruth Jennaway from local IT business Skiweb Ltd, and Cycle Heaven.