A Callander-based charity has received £25k of funding from Stirling Council to take forward their ambition to make the outdoors accessible for all.
Funding set aside earlier in the year by Council to support tourism-focussed business in the Callander area has allowed the funding to be allocated to Trossachs Mobility, a non-profit group who aim to provide all-terrain access for the physically challenged within the Trossachs area.
The group was created by friends Gordon Wilson and Wayne Johnson, who wanted to improve access in their community after realising that it’s not always possible for everyone to have the same access to their surroundings.
Now, supported by a team of volunteers, the group have created a hub on Callander Main Street where they provide ‘terrain-hoppers’ for hire, information on local facilities and access, and guidance and advice on suitable routes within the area, so that people with all levels of ability can freely access the surrounding countryside.
Founder Wayne Johnson said: “I’m so proud to be part of this great charity and grateful to have met Gordon Wilson and discovered his vision. Helping him turn his dream into a reality has given me immense satisfaction and joy, and we’ve already witnessed the freedom and empowerment these vehicles give to their users. We would like to thank all involved for their support, time and effort in helping us obtain this funding, as it has allowed us to acquire our first Terrain Hoppers and get the charity rolling! We look forward to the exciting future ahead and cannot wait to see the joy on the faces of the people that will use them."
Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Convenor Neil Benny said: “This is a fantastic scheme which I’m very proud to have been able to support. This will help those less able to access our great countryside and cement Callander’s place as the outdoor capital of Scotland.”
Chris McCoy MBE, Head of Accessible Tourism for VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Project is all about giving people with accessible needs the chance to enjoy a great holiday experience. Disabled people still have difficulty finding businesses to cater for their access requirements and provide adequate opportunities and information to help them to make informed choices.
“The tourism industry has not fully understood that disabled people not only require accessible accommodation but they too have aspirations and dreams of climbing a Munro and walking through the Trossachs National Park. VisitScotland fully supports the ethos behind Trossachs Mobility and all those in the tourism industry working towards a fully inclusive Scotland, and we look forward to seeing them promote great accessible and inclusive adventure experiences for people who need some extra help and four wheels to ramble”
To find out more about Trossachs Mobility visit http://www.trossachsmobility.com/ or follow them on Twitter @Trossachsmobil1 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/trossachsmobility/ . For more information on Terrain Hoppers, visit http://www.terrainhopper.com/