A MUSSELBURGH resident is powering forward in a new role with a national cycling scheme for older people.

Adrian McDowell has been appointed chairperson of Cycling Without Age Scotland (CWAS), which enlists volunteers to take passengers out on rides on specially designed ‘trishaws’ – three-wheel cycles with cabs.

Originally from Northern Ireland, he served as chief executive and town clerk of Bangor local authority.

A member of the Arts Council for Northern Ireland, he was also a member of the Northern Ireland Advisory Board for the Salvation Army.

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, he has worked with Birmingham University on Strategic Management and with the Warwick Business School on leadership. He was also elected a Paul Harris Fellow by North West Des Moines Rotary Club, Iowa, USA, in recognition of his development of international understanding.

Having moved in 2008 to Scotland, where his grandparents came from, he is now acting president of Musselburgh Horticultural Society and a member of North Berwick Rotary Club.

Mr McDowell lives on Promenade.

Following a successful pilot scheme in Falkirk, the Scottish Government provided £300,000 to set up the CWAS project across the country.

Originating in Denmark, it aims to help socially isolated older people meet others and be physically active.

Mr McDowell had heard Christine Bell, CWAS’ chief executive, speaking at a Rotary club meeting about the project and joined the charity as a trustee.

He said: “I could feel her enthusiasm, excitement, dedication, professionalism and commitment to combatting loneliness and isolation, to getting people, especially the elderly, independent or in care homes, out and about.

“The way that rides in CWAS’ amazing trishaws enable our passengers to explore, laugh, reminisce, chat and make new friends is truly inspirational and uplifting. This organisation genuinely enhances and enriches lives.

“I wanted to be part of the team which I have found totally motivated and pulling together to make CWAS’ pioneering service available across the whole of Scotland, to ‘put trikes in iconic places’ and to increase accessibility for all, and to raise sufficient funds to make this country-wide growth possible.

“I am very aware of and grateful for the outstanding help that CWAS gets from the Scottish Government and I look forward, as chairman, to harnessing the positive energy and experience that already exists and plotting the way forward – not only with my fellow members of the board but also with the many friends, helpers and volunteers who make this wonderful project possible. After all, it is about people.”

Ms Bell added: “We warmly welcome Adrian, already an extremely proactive trustee, into this key role.

“His breadth of experience in the public, private and charity sectors, and his strategic management and leadership skills are worth their weight in gold to us. Just as important are his passion and commitment.

“Like everyone in the UK, Cycling Without Age Scotland is facing the enormous challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to have the support of such a strong board and such a strong and committed chairman is invaluable.”

Jean Weir, CWAS’ secretary, who has been acting chairperson, added: “Adrian has already contributed with real enthusiasm and insight into the work of the board, and his commitment to this terrific project is clear for all to see. All of us on the board look forward to working alongside him as chairperson, and we know that he will be unrelenting in his support for us, the staff, our terrific volunteers, our partners and, of course, our amazing passengers.”

Musselburgh has its own successful CWA group, founded by firefighter and keen cyclist Ewan Dawson and his wife Morna.