A MEMORY cafe in Dawlish is celebrating its first anniversary while an initiative offering cycle rides for the older generation has marked a successful start.

Both schemes were set up to benefit residents in the town and further afield in Teignbridge.

Cycling Without Age Teignbridge provides a trishaw bike offering rides for residents with mobility issues who would otherwise be unable to ride a conventional bicycle.

The first passenger, a 97-year-old man, hopped on to launch the scheme in May on a ride at Decoy in Newton Abbot.

Since then, there have been rides along a number of tried and tested routes including Mamhead and its sensory trail, Haldon Forest and in Dawlish around Manor Gardens.

The cycle, which arrived in April, also took part in this summer’s Dawlish Carnival parade.

Both initiatives were started by care provider Home Instead from its base in Dawlish.

Home Instead’s community ambassador Peta Cupper explained: ‘Both initiatives were started to benefit Teignbridge residents, not just for clients of Home Instead and we have had a busy year.

‘The Memory Cafe at the Riverside Centre is one year old and well attended.

‘The charity Cycling Without Age has had a great first season offering rides to those with mobility issues, regardless of age.’

Led by volunteers, the rides allow elderly and vulnerable passengers to feel ‘the wind in their hair’ while promoting wellbeing and helping to combat isolation and loneliness.

A worldwide model, Cycling Without Age was started in Copenhagen in 2021.

Since then, it has spread to 52 countries.

In Teignbridge Peta and two trustees set up as a charity and secured a £10,000 National Lottery grant in March to kick-start the project.

The trishaw arrived in April and since May has been running trips.

It offers free trips for up to two people on rides which go at walking pace so they can relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Peta explained: ‘For the first season, it’s doing well.

‘We had a few teething problems but the rides at Haldon are really lovely and it’s so flat.

‘It is obviously weather-dependent although we do have a cover and hood for the passengers but the it’s the pilot who can get wet as they have no protection.’

Over the winter months, there are expected to be fewer rides as the mostly older passengers feel the cold.

But as the temperatures rise in the spring, the aim is to increase the number of outings.

Support has come from various fund-raising activities and Halfords.

The Riverside Centre Memory Cafe runs twice a month and offers an environment for those with dementia and their carers to meet.

It offers a range of activities including sing-a-longs, quizzes, crafts and reminiscence along with tea, cake and a chance to chat.

Led by Home Instead which covers the costs, the cafe is open to anyone and Peta is aided by six volunteers.

Up to 20 people attend regularly and also enjoy table top games and puzzles, mini skittles and singing.

Peta said: ‘It also provides a chance for carers to get together.’

Organisers are planning for Santa to arrive on Tuesday December 13 on the trishaw to deliver Christmas gifts to Home Instead clients and volunteers at the Memory Cafe.