New rickshaw service launching in Bury St Edmunds to help people with mobility issues or social isolation
A new rickshaw service is being launched in Bury St Edmunds to help people suffering with mobility issues or social isolation to get out and about in the town.
The project is being led by Libby Ranzetta, Sam Reid and Ann Williamson, who were inspired after seeing the success of a similar service in Scotland.
“It’s a lovely thing to do in Bury. There’s so many beautiful things to look at and it’s quite a social, friendly place so we thought it’d work really well,” said Libby.
The team secured funding from town and borough councillors for the £6,000 rickshaw, which arrived last month. There is also now a waiting list for volunteer cyclists after 20 people got in touch.
“We’re so thrilled and really grateful to the councillors who helped to fund the project. That made it really easy. We’ve had a lot of support from business people. Everyone’s been very helpful and we’ve had a lot of good will behind us throughout the process,” said Libby.
The Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw has also partnered with local charities Gatehouse Dementia Hub and Leading Lives, which provides social support to people with learning difficulties and complex needs, to help both organisations’ clients benefit from the service.
Elaine Channen, from Gatehouse, said: “It’s just amazing. This will be another new window for the people who come to us because it can take them back to other times in their lives, spark past memories and make some new ones.
“There’s so much potential because the sunshine and getting outside can make such a change to people’s lives. It’s magic and I hope other towns follow suit.”
The rickshaw can be used throughout town, including in the Abbey Gardens and the arc shopping centre. Riders can also be picked up from their homes and dropped off again.
Ann Williamson said: “It’s just to see people smiling. It’s such good fun and it makes people so happy. Once you see that, it’s just so worth it.”
The rickshaw is available to book from Monday. If you or anyone you know would benefit from a ride, call 01284 339449 or visit www.bserickshaw.org.uk