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Border City Connects launches trishaw service for seniors

Border City Cycle is a new service which will take seniors in the community on a trip using Border City Connect’s new trishaw.

Director Glenn Fagnan says helps improve the feeling of isolation in seniors as well as allows them to see parts of the city they couldn’t have before.

“I spoke with a lady who was driven out to Bud Miller Park. She says she’s seen a lot of the front of Bud Miller Park, but she had never seen the back and she was just thrilled.”

The service is based on Cycling Without Age, a world-wide initiative created to promote happiness and activity in elderly citizens.

Volunteer Coordinator Don Duncan schedules and organizes the volunteers and times for the service. He says Pioneer Lodge is the primary pick up point for the service as the trishaw is kept in the scooter garage at the facility, but can be used by other care homes. The service is available every afternoon and Duncan says more times could be added in the future.

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“One of the good things about working in Lloydminster is that people come out to volunteer. We have a stable of seven or eight volunteers at this point who make themselves available as needed.”

Border City Connects brought in the trishaw last year as part of a pilot project. Fagnan says it was an 8-month process to get the bike to Lloydminster. The parts are manufactured in Denmark and then distributed through a company in Montreal. The organization was ready to launch the service earlier this year, but weren’t able to due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We want to get it out to other places in the city, but that short window that we’ve had we haven’t had a whole lot of time with it. Next year we’ll get it out bright and early in the spring.”

Two grants were secured for the project. An $11,000 grant from the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation and a $5,000 grant from the Saskatchewan Real Estate Association.

“We truly appreciate Malcolm [Radke] and the whole health foundation board and all their staff for what they’ve done. They’ve initiated three of our different divisions so far and it’s been fantastic. They’re an important part.”

The launch of the service coincides with Seniors’ Week in Saskatchewan which runs from September 27th to October 3rd. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says seniors are the backbone of the community.

“I wanted to say thank you on behalf of city council and a city that is deeply appreciative to the seniors for all that they’ve done and they continue to do. Seniors are an important part of our community. They volunteer to the point where they can’t and even then they volunteer in doing something.”

Fagnan says they continue to look at new accessibility options for members of the community. Their next project will be in to try and get some accessible ski equipment for people with mobility or intellectual disabilities in collaboration with Mount Joy.

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