Search is on for new triobike pilots

If you like cycling, getting a feel-good buzz, and have a few hours to spare, then we just might have something you’ll be interested in.

We are the proud owner of the St Hugh’s triobike, a specially adapted bike that’s powered by battery and adapted to comfortably seat two front-facing passengers.

We spent last summer out and about, giving rides to happy members of the local charity Friendship At Home. We teamed up with the charity some time ago to offer their members use of the bike and the feedback has been brilliant… and now we’re on the road again this summer.

The only pilot is Gary Allington, our facilities manager and community officer at the hospital, who’s thoroughly enjoyed taking passengers around Haverstoe Park and along Cleethorpes seafront. Now, as the warmer weather is finally here, we are on the look-out for more volunteer pilots to come on board.

Gary said: “It’s such a privilege. Getting older people out into their communities – especially following the lockdowns we’ve all endured – is so important, but that’s not the only benefit to the triobike.

“It’s like something magical happens… as I start to pedal and the passengers take in the sights and sounds of the journey, they begin to recall memories and reminisce.

“Some of the anecdotes they have shared have been moving and memorable. To hear the passengers chatting away with big smiles on their faces… there’s nothing like it.

“It’s wonderful to know that something as simple as the triobike can have so much benefit to people’s wellbeing.”

Because the bike is battery assisted, it’s easy to pedal and operate. Full training and support are given to volunteer pilots; all you need is a little time to donate, as well as yourself.

Friendship At Home is a well-established charity in North East Lincolnshire combatting loneliness and isolation and improving the lives of older people. The triobike rides are a small part of what the organisation does; it offers weekly social clubs, befriending, online and telephone support, a dementia service and much, much more.

To get an idea of what it’s like being a passenger, check out our super-speedy video of a trip along Cleethorpes Prom. And find out more about the huge benefits of the triobike from Julie Rigby, Friendship At Home’s manager, talking to us here: https://youtu.be/J9bmUaE0qSg

If you think you can volunteer as a triobike pilot, get in touch with Friendship At Home(www.friendshipathome.org.uk) on 01472 602500.