Monday, 22nd January 2018
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Going Mental on Wheels

On Thursday December 14th last the Transition Year Young Social Innovation class of Newtown School launched their project Going Mental on Wheels. They have come up with a unique way to promote good mental health while connecting with older adults in their community. The students’ big dream is to ensure that all older adults in Waterford city and county can enjoy spending time outdoors. Their concept, the introduction of bicycles called trishaws accommodating two passengers and "piloted” by a volunteer cyclist at the rear. The Cycling Without Age movements, as it has become known as, was initially introduced in Denmark. There are now 33 countries, and trishaws have recently been introduced in Cork and Dublin. The team of creative teenagers working on this project are inviting the whole community to get behind them and make their dream of introducing trishaws to Waterford a reality. Having fun and freedom to enjoy the fresh air on specially designed "trishaw” bicycles is a perfect way for those with mobility impairments to enjoy being active citizens in their own community, according to one of the student innovators, Abigail Deegan. The group have already been working closely with the residents of Killure Bridge Nursing Home, delivering part of their activation program. The feedback they are getting from the public so far has been hugely positive, and the team points out "what’s not to like, it’s a win win situation on every level”.

Many companies have corporate social responsibility programs which allow their staff become socially aware and we inviting these companies to sponsor or donate towards the purchase of bikes is one way route they will be going, however students outlined that other schools, voluntary and community groups and individuals working together would be the key to making this project a success. Further information about the project as well as links to the donation page (http://www.newtownschool.ie/donate-now/).

The initiative was strongly endorsed by the Waterford City & County Mayor Cllr. Pat Nugent, Cllr. Mary Roche, Cllr. Eddie Mulligan and Cllr. Brazil who were all in attendance at the event.

Social media pages set up by the students give more information. Check out facebook, twitter and instagram @goingmental17. Or email the team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." rel="_blank">http://This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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