The sights, the sounds, and the people you talk to when getting out and about can brighten your day and combat isolation. Though, for those with limited mobility, it can be increasingly difficult to make that much-needed connection with the outdoors.
Loneliness can be as harmful to the body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day which is why it’s seen by many as the largest health concern that we face. Not to mention the negative impact it can have on mental health and wellbeing.
While volunteering at a care home in Edinburgh, Lissa McIntyre saw first hand the difference socialising and getting fresh air made to the lives of the elderly. Through Cycling Without Age, the care home purchased a trishaw—a customised electric bike which carries two passengers—and trained volunteers to offer rides to the residents.
Lissa, Joy Rides’ founder, said, “I was so inspired by the difference that this experience can make to people’s lives that I wanted to do it all the time and reach more people than just the residents of one individual care home. That is when I came up with the concept of Joy Rides.”
Lissa dreamed of purchasing her own trishaw and enhancing the lives of people in the community who were less independently mobile. By taking them out and about, she hoped to reduce isolation and improve wellbeing.
Lissa needed to raise £3,000 to establish Joy Rides as a new business and help cover the costs of purchasing a trishaw. She took part in our Back Her Business programme – an initiative that offers women expert coaching from Crowdfunder coaches, networking opportunities, and an exclusive platform to raise money. We’re working towards breaking down the barriers women can often face when starting a business.
When asked about her experience with the programme, Lissa said, “It felt like a real endorsement of my venture that such an established bank would consider supporting Joy Rides through this programme. It gave me a real boost, both financially and psychologically. The endorsement was confirmation that what I was doing was worthwhile and viable.”
A breath of fresh air for the community
Within 28 days, Lissa had raised £3,150 from 48 members of the crowd, enabling her to offer Joy Rides to care homes, sheltered housing associations, and members of the public, giving everyone a breath of fresh air. This included a £1,500 grant from us as part of the Back Her Business programme.
“Receiving the extra funding gave me the most fantastic feeling! Not just for me, but for all those that donated to my campaign. Reaching my target was satisfying for everyone who was supporting my project; they felt like they had really achieved something.”
She continued, “The extra funding was so helpful. It enabled me to pay for start up costs that were essential to get the business off its feet, and to quickly be in a position to offer my service to potential clients.”
A successful outcome for Joy Rides
Since her crowdfunding campaign closed in June 2019, Lissa has been spreading joy to her community.
“Joy Rides is going from strength to strength. After months of meetings and negotiations, I am now securing regular clients and my weeks are starting to fill up with bookings, so I feel that everything is on track!”
After such a successful crowdfunding project, Lissa left us with some final words, hoping to inspire others to take the plunge and start their own business.
“Be realistic about what target you want to achieve. Make sure you use social media to tell people about your campaign — I was surprised when strangers wanted to support me! But most of all, believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”
Find out if you could be eligible to unlock extra funding for your business or great idea through the Back Her Business programme. What are you waiting for? Start crowdfunding today!