A plan to get the wind in the hair of Tweeddale’s less-mobile citizens has been boosted by a generous donation. Investment company Baillie Gifford has awarded Cycling Without Age Peebles all £7,500 of the funding required for the town’s first trishaw – an electric-assisted three-wheeled vehicle that can carry two passengers in comfort and safety. A delighted group of volunteers were on hand to receive the vehicle and get to grips with its distinctive handling and unique design.
The trishaw is to be named Amazing Grace, as a tribute to the late Grace Aitchison, who was keen to be one of the first passengers, but sadly died last year, aged 96. Her daughter, Catherine Gordon, says her mum would have been incredulous but “chuffed to bits” at the idea that something was named after her: “She loved being out and about and often scared us in her 80s by saying she wanted to buy an electric bike to get her from Biggar to Peebles and Lanark to visit us – she never learned to drive. She never thought she was that important due to quite a hard childhood and to know something special was named after her would, I am sure, have been pretty emotional. Her children and grandchildren will find it emotional too, so when Amazing Grace goes whizzing up the High Street and there is someone wiping away a tear or two just ignore them please!”.
Mr Nile Istephan, Chief Executive of Eildon Housing Association said: “This is a marvellous opportunity for our tenants at Riverside House and for local elderly people to get out in the community and have the chance to enjoy the Borders’ fresh air. It has the advantage of bringing generations closer together using the special trishaws. Eildon Housing Association is delighted that we can help out with this fabulous project by offering safe storage for the first trishaw ‘Amazing Grace’ and we wish the project every success going forward.”
The CWA Peebles steering group, established last year to bring the initiative to Tweeddale, will now direct their own fundraising towards a second trishaw, doubling the number of potential users. Over £2,000 has already been raised through fundraising and donations from individuals, groups and local businesses, including Cardrona Brownies, The Super Store, Tweedlove, Ridelines and bSpoke Cycles. CWA Peebles is also working closely with SBC’s Community Capacity Building team, Eildon Housing and other outreach and social care partners.
If you would like to help fundraise, volunteer or make a donation, please contact CWA Peebles via The Bridge, Volunteer Resource Centre, School Brae, Peebles. EH45 8AL or search for CWAPeebles on Facebook.