The sun was shining at Saint Joseph’s Shankill on Wednesday afternoon but nothing shone as brightly as the smiling faces of the residents, their families and the volunteers at the official launch of the TrioBike on Wednesday, 6th of June at 2pm.
Sports writer and former Olympic cyclist Paul Kimmage, cut the ribbon on the day, and wished all the residents happy travels on the TrioBike.
Paul said “I am delighted to be here today to officiate at this event; I for one know just how wonderful it is to experience the sense of freedom of cycling and it is amazing to witness the residents and their families enjoying this trioBike despite the limitations of their illness”
Fundraising manager, Siobhan Grant put out the call on behalf of Saint Joseph’s to potential volunteers in the community that would like to become a ‘TrioBike pilot’. She said “We would love to recruit as many people as possible to join our TrioBike team, enabling our residents to feel the wind in their hair and enjoy the beautiful surrounds of our local community. We are calling out to our community to volunteer with us to become TrioBike pilots. We will provide training in the operation of the Triobike to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment”
The TrioBike was purchased from funds raised through a number of family and staff run fundraising initiatives. Aidan O’Toole, whose wife Kay resides in Avoca Lodge in Saint Joseph’s completed a 60 length swim as his contribution to the fundraising activity, he thanked all his sponsors and donors, saying “when I first heard about the bike I knew it would be something that I could enjoy with Kaye together, I am thrilled to celebrate today with all our ‘Saint Joseph’s family and witness the beginning of a new activity that all the residents can enjoy”.
Saint Joseph’s residents no longer have the physical ability to hop on a bike and feel the wind in their hair. The TrioBike makes it possible for them once again to take a trip down memory lane, down to the park or just simply around the grounds of Saint Joseph’s, which makes them feel that they are still alive.
Saint Joseph’s is an affiliate of the Cycling without Age international programme which has a vision of creating happiness among our elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community through the activation of local active citizenship. Volunteers will enable the residents to experience the village and nature up close from the comfort and safety of the TrioBike and also give them an opportunity to tell their story in the environment where they have lived their lives.
Over 30 volunteer pilots have been trained already to pedal the bike taking residents (all living with dementia) and their families on cycles in the community of Shankill.
Saint Joseph’s Shankill at Crinken Lane is the only care home in Ireland solely dedicated to dementia care. Our a vision is to lead the way in dementia care in Ireland, providing highest quality, person centred care to our residents, where their home, happiness and feelings matter most to us.
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