A KIND-HEARTED student is campaigning to take old people across Scotland on rickshaw rides to the countryside.

Fraser Johnston, 20, helps pensioners, who are otherwise cooped up inside a care home, to get back in touch with nature.

The medicine student at Glasgow University currently travels every fortnight from his flat to give old people rides around the Falkirk area in a trishaw.

Every person who has so far used the service has been more than 85-years-old since it was introduced in Scotland last month.

The idea for the Cycling Without Age scheme originates from Denmark where it has proved successful in allowing people to get out and have the wind caught in their hair.

Fraser now hopes to crowdfund to get more bikes so that the project can be rolled out across the country.

He said: “I’d done a lot of work in the community before to get people outside but we were struggling to get the elderly out.

“But I had seen the work that the Cycling Without Age had done in Denmark and thought that it would be a perfect way to reach out to pensioners over here.

“A lot of the elderly people we’d spoken to had not even seen the Kelpies despite living only a few miles away from them.

“So I’ve taken a few out at the weekend and while we were travelling they saw things outside which helped rejig memories from their past.

“The bike rides really help those with dementia to stimulate their minds.

“When they get back to their care home they’re more sociable and it helps improve their overall quality of life.

“We’ve been sent a lot of messages from care homes across the country - from the Highlands and islands down to the borders and everywhere in between - to roll this out to them.”

A group of 40 volunteers, aged between 12 and 80, have been helping out with the Scottish branch of Cycling Without Age.

Rides will typically take between 30 minutes and two hours and can seat two pensioners at the front of the three-wheeled vehicle.

Crowdfunding has so far managed to raise £1,820 to help raise money for other bicycles for other areas of Scotland.

The group’s mission statement is that by simple acts of generosity and kindness, it hopes to bring residents out and about to meet people and have them “feeling free again”.

Their website says: “The issue of social isolation cannot be underestimated in Scotland today.

“We know that despite us making progress towards an all-inclusive society we still have a severe lack of integration, and it is our senior citizens that are left behind.”