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Grant funding fuels intergenerational programming!

The City of Morden is pleased to be the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the New Horizons for Seniors. This grant includes funding for an intergenerational storytelling project ($1200), intergenerational fitness ($1400) and a Cycling Without Age project ($22,500).

Intergenerational fitness is a program that has been put on previously with participants from local schools and Morden Activity Centre. We are thrilled to offer it again this year. The storytelling project is a new one, and the funding from this grant will help get it off the ground.

Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.

He then got in touch with a civil society consultant from the City of Copenhagen, Dorthe Pedersen, who was intrigued by the idea and together they bought five trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and since 2015 to another 40 countries around the world.

Stephanie Dueck, City Rec Programmer reflects on how this project came to be, “Having come across Cycling without Age via social media got me thinking how great it would be to offer this locally. I shared it around with others and there was consensus. This was the spark that led to our grant application.”

The funding from New Horizons for Seniors allows the City to purchase 2 trishaw bicycles to start the program. Each bicycle is built to accommodate a pilot and 2 adults. The program will connect volunteer pilots with senior citizens on specially designed trishaw bicycles: the pilots give bicycle rides to seniors throughout the community.

Cycling Without Age’s guiding principles include generosity (rides are always free), slowness (to take time to enjoy the wind in your hair), storytelling (connecting generations through sharing of stories and ideas), relationships (building social connections to strengthen wellbeing) and without age (age should not be a barrier to enjoying sports and the outdoors). For more information on Cycling Without Age, visit https://cyclingwithoutage.org.

Mayor Brandon Burley commented, “We are looking forward to seeing these programs move forward. These kinds of programs help to build community and quality of life, and we love to see that in Morden. We are grateful to New Horizons for Seniors for the opportunity.

The local program will be coordinated by volunteer, Heather Francis. It will take some time for the trishaws to be manufactured and shipped, but the hope is for the program to begin in June. The program will also be looking for volunteer pilots and will be setting up rides for local seniors in the late spring and summer! You can follow news, calls for volunteers and program information at www.mordenmb.com/cyclingwithoutage.

The City is looking to offer more cycling programming and resources with the help of additional grants. Community feedback will help to shape what is offered. Fill out the survey at mordenmb.com/cyclingsurvey to give your input.