A retirement village and church have teamed up to fund a fleet of rickshaws taking dementia residents for rides around the local community.
The Lodge at Buckshaw Retirement Village and Buckshaw Village Community Church have joined together to form ‘BV Rickshaws’; a plan to fund-raise for three of the three-wheeled carts to give residents more stimulating activities around the Chorley and Leyland area.
Lodge Manager Julie Stringfellow said: “The idea with the rickshaws is not to go a long route but to take in the moment at an easy pace – to notice the surroundings such as nature and activities and perhaps even stop and get an ice-cream.
“It’s an outdoor experience. But it’s also more than that.
"This is about the mental, emotional, and social stimulation a person receives.”
The Lodge resides within Buckshaw Retirement Village and homes up to 64 people who have dementia related illness and who require help with nursing or personal care.
Reverend James Gwyn-Thomas from Buckshaw Village Community Church revealed that the idea came about in January from the church’s Pioneer Ministry Enabler, Andrew Kesiak.
Rev Gwyn-Thomas said: “He’s run a lot of these projects; this is his brainchild. We want to build relationships with people in the community and fund it as a community so that it feels like they own it rather than us just buying them.
“We have around 150 people at our congregation on Sundays and we also run a second congregation in the retirement village itself.
“Even though they’re separate we treat everyone as part of the same and we’re working hard to share things between the two.
"We hope this will really add to that.”
The two organisations are holding the fund-raising campaign on Friday (June 14) where a cycle rickshaw – or trishaw – will be loaned in to raise awareness of the benefits of the initiative.
It will see trial journeys take place between The Lodge and the Green Man, as well as Tesco, KFC, and Merlin Cycles.
• To get involved call the retirement village on 01772 678 700 or visit the church website on https://www.bvchurch.org.uk/