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Trishaw dream really on a roll as community group’s vision of bringing three-wheeled freedom to older and less-mobile Black Isle residents is close to reality


By Alasdair Fraser

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Donnie Macleod, Alan McCaffrey and Richard Cherry during a pilot training session
Donnie Macleod, Alan McCaffrey and Richard Cherry during a pilot training session

A community group’s vision of bringing three-wheeled freedom to older and less-mobile Black Isle residents is close to reality.

After an amazing response to appeals for funds, the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Chapter of Cycling Without Age Scotland (FARCS) is just over £1000 short of the £19,000 target needed for electric trike rides in the two villages.

One of the trishaws has already been purchased, letting passengers with mobility and isolation issues savour the freedom of the road.

Fully-trained volunteers will run the rides to beauty spots, landmarks and cafés.

The bowl that was auctioned
The bowl that was auctioned

A dynamic team of eight local people, including three trustees from the Black Isle Men’s Shed (BIMS), started fundraising in March. After trials with a borrowed trishaw, appeals for help met an energetic response from supporters willing to take part in fundraising events.

These included an epic sponsored cycle ride by FARC chairman Alan McCaffrey, who climbed the equivalent height of Mount Everest in 24 hours on the Black Isle.

The trishaws are being tried out.
The trishaws are being tried out.

Further grants and donations came from the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Amenities Group and the George and Ena Baxter Foundation, which met the cost of a purpose-built trailer to transport the trishaws.

A Fortrose and Rosemarkie Old Golfers Stableford in October raised £800 – including over £200 from the auction of a beautifully-crafted wooden bowl, donated by a member of BIMS.

Steve Bramwell, a FARC fundraiser and chairman of BIMS, said: “We have applied for a number of grants with some success, but we always wanted to see the majority of funding coming from our local communities.

They have certainly supported us to the hilt here. Their wonderful generosity and enthusiasm really kept us going.”

FARC has also become Co-op supported charity.

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