Falkirk elderly people cycle scheme film goes viral

A Falkirk project taking elderly people on cycle rides hopes to expand after a BBC video on the scheme went viral.

Cycling Without Age Falkirk was the subject of a BBC3 Amazing Humans film which has been viewed more than 17 million times since Saturday.

It showed volunteer Fraser Johnston, 20, taking care home resident Mary Duncan for a trip on a trishaw.

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The project has launched a campaign to raise £10,000 to buy another two of the three-wheeled cycles.

The voluntary community group is part of the global Cycling Without Age, which started in Denmark in 2012.

Mr Johnston, a medical student, said: "A lot of people who are stuck in care homes or stuck in their own homes, the only time they ever get taken out is with their family or through activities at the home.

"But it's normally from the home to a car to a bus to the next location.

"For some of them it's such a strange thing when you say, come out on the bike because they think they're going to do the pedalling.

"But when they find out it's a young or old volunteer taking them out, they jump at the chance to get on the bike."

The Falkirk team got its first trishaw in February and has about 30 volunteers.

Mr Johnston said the BBC video has resulted in messages from places including New Zealand, Africa and South America.

He said: "It's really captured the imaginations of the whole world."

Care home residents' families say the scheme has already had a profound impact.

Linda Muirhead said: "It gives my dad freedom - I can take him out, but it's always with family.

"It's a sense of independence, because it's out and it's freedom and it's fresh air.

"And it's on a bike - at 93, he's on a bike."