Cycling project expands after viral video boosts crowdfunding target

Cycling Without Age Falkirk reached its target of £20,000, a figure doubled by match funding

A cycling project has raised twice its crowdfunding target after it was featured in a video that went viral.

Cycling Without Age Falkirk is a community group based in Scotland that was set up in March and which takes elderly people from care homes in the area out for cycle rides in specially designed trishaws. The group is part of the wider Cycling Without Age organisation set up in Denmark five years ago.

Fraser Johnston, project leader for Cycling Without Age Scotland, was featured in a BBC Three Amazing Humans short film. It had phenomenal success, with more than 26 million views on Facebook and 13,000 views on YouTube, helping the charity to reach its crowdfunding target of £20,000. This figure has since doubled because of match funding from Santander’s Changemaker Fund.

As Third Sector reported in June, projects looking to support disadvantaged people in the UK can present their ideas on the Crowdfunder website and receive funds from the bank if their ideas are supported by the "crowd". Projects looking for funds of up to £20,000 can apply and, if approved, will receive 50 per cent of their funding requirements from Santander. To date, 39 projects have been supported in this way.

Johnston said that reaching the £20k figure had enabled the charity to buy three more trishaws on top of the three it already had.

"We were totally overwhelmed when we reached our initial target," he said. "When we set this, it was very much a ‘best-case’ scenario. Thanks to the support from the team, we were able to ensure that our message was loud and clear. This is a people-driven project, and we are thrilled that our supporters could all be part of the movement by contributing to the campaign."

Speaking about the Changemaker Fund, Rob Love, chair of Crowdfunder, said: "It’s about turning community-based ideas into a reality. It’s about putting the power into the hands of those who want to make a real difference and give them the tools to be able to do so."

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