People & Planet:
Brand & Bottom line:
Our mission is to enhance the quality of senior living by means of bicycles, adding colour to an individual's social life and stimulating good health. Being non-textbook and outside the standard institution's framework, the solution takes an important element of the typical Danish lifestyle and reincorporates it back into an individual senior's life. Growing up in Denmark cycling is a way of life from childhood to late adulthood. But need it stop then even if one's functions are challenged? CWA's core idea is to arrange rickshaw cycling tours in and around the city and to team volunteer chauffeurs with elderly residents. CWA is innovative by providing a simple template that can be easily modified and adapted to varying local settings.
There are three main beneficiaries/target groups: 1) Elderly residents in nursing homes (usually 80 years+) with males and females equally represented on the tours. 2) Volunteers; ages ranging from 15 to 72 both male and female. 3) Co-riders who wish to join alongside the tours on their own bicycles. Citizens of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds; children, youth, adults, seniors. All target groups cover a broad social spectrum.
The professionals in the Health Care Sector frequently find that it is these higher complexity issues facing elderly people that causes the most amount of silent suffering. The extensive research and analysis undertaken has defined that loneliness is one of the most devastating 'symptoms' of senior living that can often spiral down into severe mental health problems. Loneliness transitions from being an emotional state to a way of living and the hardship of life is why the Department of Health urgently seeks to half the number of silent suffers by 2015 and instead boost living standards by means of health promotion.
CWA is a civil society initiative collaborating with the public sector to tackle health issues by engaging the community in network activities on physical exercise and sustainable relations. Being non-textbook and outside the standard institution's framework, the solution takes an important element of the typical Danish lifestyle and reincorporates it back into an individual senior's life. Growing up in Denmark cycling is a way of life from childhood, CWA's core idea is to arrange rickshaw cycling tours in and around the city and to team volunteer chauffeurs with elderly residents. CWA acknowledges that an individual has a need for different types of relationships. Through voluntarism the elders form new relationships that are neither time-bound nor obligated. The relationship between chauffeur and passenger offers a 1-to-1 interaction based on equal terms. Sharing of stories, memories and local news turns a volunteering stranger into a familiar person and creates a genuine relation.
CWA started in Copenhagen in early 2013 and has since spread to Aarhus, Odense, Hjørring, Brøndby and Oslo (in Norway). Over 100 volunteers are engaged and over 20 towns and cities are in the process of implementing the initiative. It's been covered in a range of media in Denmark and abroad. A list can be found here: http://cyklingudenalder.dk/i-medierne/