Funding secures trishaw and wheelchair transporter for Leuchie

An outstanding near-£25,000 fundraising effort involving multiple organisations has secured two very special accessible vehicles for Leuchie House.

Leuchie's new Trishaw and Wheelchair Transporter will propel passengers with limited mobility into the great outdoors.

The project has been spearheaded by Cycling Without Age Scotland (CWAS) which launched an appeal to ensure people living with long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis, MND and Parkinson’s can use the vehicles to enjoy exploring Leuchie’s grounds and further afield.

North Berwick Initiative, Sparewheels CIC, kicked off the fundraising donations with £4,350 which were the funds remaining after the closure of their charitable initiative. The group had already funded the first CWAS Trishaw to be launched in North Berwick and, so, recognised the impact such a resource would have for Leuchie House.

This donation was soon to be followed by £2,500 from Bruce Wake Fund and £2,000 from Walk with Scott Foundation, as well as £500 from the Arnold Clark Community Fund for facilities to house the vehicles. And the generosity didn’t end there!

With the help of Jennifer Thomson, fundraising officer for CWAS, a further huge award of £14,100 from North Berwick Trust was pledged to secure the addition of a Wheelchair transporter to add to Leuchie House’s fleet. This provides uplifting rides to wheelchair users who can remain seated in their own wheelchair throughout.

Olwyn Owen, Chair of North Berwick Trust’s Grants Group, said: “The Trust was delighted to support this latest initiative by Leuchie House and their partners.

"It is wonderful to think that our grant will enable many people living with long-term conditions to experience our beautiful countryside and getting out and about in the fresh air, including some who live in North Berwick.

"We believe these very special vehicles will make a real difference to the quality of many people’s lives.”

The electric-assist bikes have been labelled Spitfire and Lightning, names suggested by a group of Leuchie guests, including Iain Elder – who raised almost £2,000 towards the project by taking part in a white-water rafting fundraiser earlier this year to mark his 60th birthday.

Iain Elder whitewater rafting fundraiser for Leuchie
Iain Elder raised funds for the project by whitewater rafting

Iain, a regular at Leuchie who has MS, said: “It meant a lot to me personally as the funds raised are dedicated to the memory of two special men - Bill Sibbald and Bill Dawson – who were both legends at Leuchie.”

“Because of the generosity of all the funders involved, we now have two cracking vehicles, our Trishaw and our Wheelchair Transporter, based at Leuchie. They will be used to give Leuchie guests the grand tour of the Leuchie estate and hopefully further afield.”

CWAS also recently visited Leuchie’s North Berwick base to give specialist on-site training to a group of 10 volunteer ‘pilots’ who will take guests out on trips in the Trishaw and Wheelchair Transporter, including Leuchie CEO Mark Bevan.

After being put through his paces behind the pedals, Mark said: “Receiving the Trishaw and Wheelchair Transporter is the culmination of a tremendous collaborative fundraising campaign led by Cycling Without Age Scotland. The vehicles will bring huge benefits to our guests for years to come, allowing them to enjoy the thrill of touring the beautiful grounds we have here at Leuchie, and other local attractions.”

Christine Bell, CEO of Cycling Without Age Scotland, said: “We are so excited by the developments at Leuchie House, where the passion and commitment from everyone at the centre has been matched by the huge generosity of the donors who have funded the Trishaw and Wheelchair Transporter. From our experience in communities all across Scotland, we know how positive a difference this will make to everyone who visits the centre, their families and carers and the centre’s dedicated staff.”

Trishaw training at Leuchie
Leuchie team members Sharon and Louise take a turn at being passengers

In 2018 Cycling Without Age Scotland introduced into the UK its unique approach to enriching and enhancing the lives of people with disabilities or mobility issues or dealing with isolation or loneliness. It does this, for people of any age, with its pioneering Trishaws and Wheelchair Transporters. Growing all the time, it already has more than 50 branches (known as “Chapters”) throughout Scotland, from the Borders to the outer isles.

Cycling Without Age Scotland logo

From the outset, Cycling Without Age Scotland has been supported by the Scottish Government in recognition, not just of what the organisation does to support individuals and communities, but of the extremely high standards of care, compassion and safety with which it does it. Because of this government support, every ride that Cycling Without Age Scotland provides is completely free of charge.