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Launch of new rickshaw for Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 10:23 06 June 2018

Councillors, supporters and friends gather at the entrance to the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds, for the launch of the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw

Councillors, supporters and friends gather at the entrance to the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds, for the launch of the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw

Archant

It’s a new and unique way of seeing the sights and sounds of Bury St Edmunds.

Elaine Channen, Gatehouse dementia hub facilitator, left, and Joan Rowland, right, take a ride in the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw with trustee Sam Reid.Elaine Channen, Gatehouse dementia hub facilitator, left, and Joan Rowland, right, take a ride in the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw with trustee Sam Reid.

And from the comfort of your seat you get a wonderful tour of the town.

That’s what’s on offer for people who get to use a new rickshaw service launched primarily to help people suffering with mobility issues or social isolation to get out and about.

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.

The team secured funding from town and borough councillors for the rickshaw, which arrived last month, and which has cost £7,000 along with insurance. Those who have helped to fund the project from their locality budgets include David Nettleton, Trevor Beckwith, Jo Rayner, John Augustine, Sarah Stamp and Julia Wakelam.

Councillors, supporters and friends gather at the entrance to the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds, for the launch of the Bury St Edmunds RickshawCouncillors, supporters and friends gather at the entrance to the Abbey Gardens, in Bury St Edmunds, for the launch of the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw

There is now a waiting list for volunteer cyclists after 20 people got in touch.

“It has an electric-assist motor to help with the pedalling so you don’t have to be a super strong cyclist. It will offer free rides around the town to people experiencing limited mobility/and or social isolation.

“Our rickshaw is a specially adapted tricycle that carries two passengers at the front, giving them an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and interaction with others,” said Libby.

“We’re so thrilled and really grateful to the councillors who helped to fund the project and we’ve had a lot of support from business people,” she added.

Sam said: ”We are thrilled to be launching the project now and so grateful for all the support from town and borough councillors, local businesses and our lovely volunteers.

“It has been a lot of work to get to this point but already we feel it will be a great success - the passengers who have been for rides during our preparation period absolutely loved the experience.”

And Ann added: “People have been riding in it and smiling. I have know Libby for quite a while and she asked me if I thought it was a good idea and I said yes. But it has been so well received and it’s marvellous and is another attraction for the town.

“The primary idea was to benefit those people who are socially isolated and the rides will help to rekindle memories for people.”

The rickshaw is available to book from Monday. If you or anyone you know would benefit from a ride, call 01284 339449 or visit bse.rickshaw.org.uk

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