If you visit Seaford beach, you may well have spotted some Trishaws along the seafront. We recently asked Mary from Cycling without Age to tell us more about this great project!

Where did the idea come from?

Cycling Without Age started in 2012 in Copenhagen, Ole Kassow passed a gentleman everyday on his commute. One day he stopped to talk to him and he told Ole how he would love to get back out on a bike again and feel the wind in his hair. Ole then hired a Trishaw and took him for a ride. The rest is history with Cycling Without Age Chapters currently running in 47 countries. There are 2,050 chapters, 2,700 trishaws and 31,500 trained pilots worldwide.

How did you start out?

Pete Tattem put a call out on facebook asking if anybody wanted to join him in getting a chapter going in Seaford. A new chapter in Brighton had been featured on BBC news, we had both seen it and thought it would work perfectly in Seaford. Seaford Chapter constituted in November 2017 and by the end of Summer 2018 we had raised just over 16k and could buy two trishaws for Seaford.

How did you find the crowdfunding page worked out?

We managed to raise aprox £1600 using crowdfunding, Mainly from one very generous donor and a member of Cycle Seahaven doing a south downs ride and donating it to us. Cycle Seahaven also had us as their nominated charity for the last two years.

Would you recommend using crowdfunding in this way?

We didn’t push the crowndfunding as much as we could, as we got funding from many sources but I would definitely recommend it and will be using this method of fundraising again.

What other funding support did you have?

We were given grants from Seaford Town Council. Seaford Bonfire Society, The Chalk Cliff Trust, Active Access for Growth, Better Together and Rampion. We have also been given donations from members of the public.

What are your plans for 2020, what is on your “wishlist”?

We are having a relaunch in the spring (watch this space for dates) where we will be launching a drive to raise in the region of 8k for a wheelchair accessible bike so we can widen our inclusivity. We are also looking for more volunteer pilots so that we can offer more rides. We are currently working with 11 residential homes within Seaford but really want to engage with more individuals that either live alone or are carers. The last year has seen us give 350 individuals rides, some have been out with us more than once and we would really like to build on this in the coming year.

During the past 12 months we have been involved with the Seaford bonfire parade, Cheney’s fundraising day, Waves Paragames, Motorfest, Sussex Day and Armed Forces day. We had a visit from a sister chapter from near Dieppe and Pete was chosen by the mayor as one of her ‘unsung Heros’, Our first year has been rewarding for both passengers and pilots and we are looking forward to the weather improving so we can make 2020 just as fantastic.

How do people get in touch, or book a ride?

Rides are free and we can be contacted via facebook email at seafordcwa@gmail.com or phone on 07596-734170

What routes can you take?

We will take passengers wherever they want to go within the boundaries of Seaford or along the nature reserve to Newhaven. Mostly though people want to ride along the seafront and stop for a coffee or ice cream and chat. The idea is that the bikes are ridden at walking pace so that passengers can interact with the environment and other members of the community that wish to chat. We often stop to greet dogs that are being walked.

Is there anywhere you can’t go, where pavements/roads need to be adapted?

We would love to be able to go all the way along the seafront to Tidemills or even beyond to Newhaven.

Do get in touch with Cycling Without Age if you would like to train to be a volunteer pilot, or know people who would enjoy using the service!