A wheelie good wedding! Monmouth bride uses charity’s trishaw bike as transport for her wedding day

A newlywed couple from Monmouth chose an unconventional but environmentally-friendly way to get to their wedding, opting for Bridges Centre’s trishaw bike. Being supporters of the Bridges Centre, newlyweds Lisa and Lee James wanted to use and support local businesses as much as possible for their big day. After finding there was no wedding car hire in Monmouth, Lisa and Lee took to Bridges Centre to organise transport for their special day.

The trishaw bikes are part of the Cycling Without Age scheme from independent Monmouth-based charity the Bridges Centre, whose aim has always been to enhance the wellbeing of the local community. The project usually offers the opportunity for older or mobility impaired people to get out and about in Monmouth on a trishaw bike. However, this time, the bike was used to get the bride to her wedding on time.

The bride, Lisa James, said: “I have been a supporter of Bridges and the great work they do. I even completed the London marathon in 2015 to raise funds for the centre. For me, what better way to get to my wedding than by trishaw, where I could also support a local charity close to my heart at the same time.”

Lisa was accompanied by other supporters and friends from local running group Rock up and Run as the bell-ringing entourage cycled through the streets of Monmouth. Lisa’s pilot, Simon Jones, who is already a Cycling Without Age volunteer, offered his services for Lisa and Lee’s wedding. With bicycle and wedding bells ringing, the group headed up the high street with Lisa as she carried her bouquet, with passers-by waving and smiling broadly as the entourage cycled past.

Marianne Piper, Team Leader and Volunteer Co-ordinator at Bridges Centre said: “We were delighted to be approached by Lisa asking whether she could use the trishaw to get to her wedding. Lisa has been a long-term supporter of the Bridges Charity, she is also aclose friend of an elderly gentleman who has recently used the trishaw to get out of his flat for the first time in a couple of years.”

The Cycling Without Age scheme was originally set up in Denmark to enable people who couldn’t access a traditional bicycle the chance to get out of their homes, meet new people, see new places and most importantly, have fun and enjoy themselves. Rides are always free of charge and the bike are propelled by volunteers.

Marianne Piper continued: “Every week we take out students from the Over Monnow Primary Schools Special Needs Resource Unit, being a particular highlight of our week. We get to see children have the chance to experience feeling the wind in their hair, laughing as we ride over speed bumps and seeing parts of Monmouth they hadn’t seen before.”

Cabinet Member for Social Care, Cllr. Penny Jones, said: “It is fantastic to see such wonderful people supporting such a great cause in Monmouthshire. Bridges Centre is an integral community asset for Monmouth, being the heart of the community. I want to congratulate the happy couple, Lisa and Lee, and wish them a happy and healthy life together.”

The Bridges Centre has recently taken delivery of more trishaw bikes to offer rides in Caldicot and Llanfoist. The charity is always looking for a team of warm, friendly volunteers over the age of 18 to become ‘pilots’ and ‘co-pilots’ with a basic level of fitness, although the bikes are battery operated to help navigate through Monmouthshire’s streets. If you think you would like to get involved as a passenger or volunteer as a pilot/co-pilot, then say “I do” and email wellbeing@bridgescentre.org.uk or ring 07980 941946 for more information.