A UNIQUE charity venture that helps residents with mobility issues enjoy the great outdoors has been launched on Cumbrae.

Cycling Without Age Scotland launched its latest branch, known as a ‘chapter’, at a formal event at Garrison House on Saturday.

The charity will use a trishaw and volunteer pilots to take residents who cannot get out as much on weekly rides around Millport.

Eileen McAulay, captain of the Cumbrae chapter, says the service will bring a big boost to both elderly or infirm residents on the island.

She said: “With our trishaw we aim to bring a little more joy and happiness to people who aren’t able to get out very often.

“The rides are free to anyone with mobility issues and all donations to support our charitable work are welcome.

“People of any age can book rides to suit their requirements, such as a short ride along the promenade or perhaps a longer one with a stop-off for coffee or even an ice cream.

“The trishaws only travel at walking speed, so they offer the whole social experience of being out. They allow passengers to chat to people they meet and make new friends.”

The charity have managed to recruit six trainee pilots but are keen to find more.

Christine Bell, chief executive of Cycling Without Age Scotland, insists the island scenery is perfect for their 54th and latest chapter.

She explained: “We’re thrilled that our Isle of Cumbrae chapter is now under way - and with such enthusiastic leadership.

“The island’s breathtaking scenery will provide the perfect environment for these rides, activity which is life-enriching and enhancing, not just for the passengers but for the volunteer pilots.

“I hope that many people volunteer to join as they will enjoy it enormously.”

The charity is calling on volunteers on the island to step up and play their part to help them expand.

Eileen added: “We are hoping to recruit as many people as we can.

“The minimum age for volunteering is 16 and there are various other volunteering roles, such as co-pilot or co-passenger.

“Some of the pilots, like myself, are not on the island continuously and all our volunteers can take rides as and when it suits them.”

To book a a ride or to volunteer to help, call Eileen on 07772 075 295.