A 'TRISHAW' bicycle has been purchased for Bridport by a group helping vulnerable people get out by cycling them across town.

Bridport Cycling Without Age has successfully obtained the £9,000 needed to purchase the trishaw through grants and fundraising.

Cycling Without Age was set up in 2012 to allow elderly people and care home residents to go out on 'trishaw' cycle rides. It has since seen initiatives started in more than 50 countries, including 18 in the UK.

The funds were raised courtesy of grants from the Dorset Council Community and Culture Project Fund, Bridport Round Table and support from funeral directors A.J. Wakely and Sons along with a JustGiving page.

The local Cycling Without Age branch was established by Des Lochrie, and has provided two bikes for the people of Weymouth and one in Portland, before turning its attention to Bridport.

Mr Lochrie said: "We'd been doing so well in Weymouth and were able to bring a bike to Portland as well so next on the list was Bridport.

"We took over 111 passengers out in Weymouth last year. It's important to get these people out and about instead of being stuck inside, because the initiative is great for helping with mental health issues or dementia.

"I think the initiative is about to spread like wildfire, people have been stuck indoors for so long and to get the opportunity to get out in the fresh air.

"I spoke to someone the other day whose mother had come out with us and they said she was on cloud nine afterwards."

The bikes are battery operated and used to help with travel for elderly or disabled people. They also have a hood installed which will protect and keep riders socially distant from the cyclist, who are called 'pilots'.

The group is currently looking for volunteers to sign up as pilots to take people out in Bridport. One person already signed up is Simon Wakely, director of A.J. Wakely and Sons.

Mr Wakely said: "Following the difficulties of seclusion and loneliness many have had over the last year I was inspired by the timing of this great project to give people the chance to meet a friendly face, socialise or interact and to see the sights of Bridport."

Cycling Without Age is continuing to fundraise to bring a second trishaw to Bridport, visit its JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bridportcwa