Two community groups and organizations are helping Rimbey seniors stay connected to the community through leisurely jaunts through town — in the back of a horse-drawn wagon, or the front of locally infamous ‘Rimshaw.’
The Rimbey Sleigh, Wagon and Saddle Club was at Rimbey Valley View Manor on Sunday, Sept. 27 to give rides to the residents.
Keith Kendrew also came with this donkeys Charlotte and baby Rose to entertain the residents.
Anita Goetz, activity coordinator at Valley View, says the event was “awesome” and made staff and residents very happy and it worked out well.
About 13 residents took rides, either in a covered wagon, or one of the three sleighs that came out.
Residents were taken on a short trip through town, as well as through the Rogers drive-thru so they could order coffee or ice cream, or whatever else they wished.
Corey Glenn from the club organized the rides and came out with other club members.
“He’s promised us he’ll do this again,” said Goetz.
Another welcome visitor to the manor has been the Rimbey’s motorized rickshaw bicycle, dubbed the ‘Rimshaw.’
“It’s been received very, very well,” said Goetz.
The Rimshaw, operated by Rimbey Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), is driven by volunteers who receive training.
This summer, volunteers included Jim Hetherington, Mark Grundy, Kathy Lee, Coston and Rimshaw mechanic Steve Kozak.
Currently, FCSS has been trying, pending good weather, to get the Rimshaw out once a week to take seniors for short rides around the community, giving rides to residents at Valley View Manor and other retirement facilities in town.
The RimShaw was launched in August, 2019.
Since COVID-19 began, there has been more demand in the community for the Rimshaw. It was a busy summer for the bicycle, and all COVID-19 precautions were taken while it was in use, including sanitizing it after each passenger.
Masks are available and a plexiglass barrier was added between the driver and the passengers.
The seniors really enjoy getting out and seeing peoples’ yards and flowers, says FCSS volunteer programs coordinator Jamie Coston.
“It’s a view they don’t normally get to see,” said Coston.
“It just helps with inclusivity in our community.”
Rimbey FCSS executive director Peggy Makofka got the idea for the Rimshaw after she saw one in Canmore and wanted to bring it to Rimbey.
The concept is part of a movement that started in Denmark, and is about enabling everyone to experience cycling regardless or age or ability.
Right now, the Rimshaw services are being focused on older persons in the community, though FCSS is open to other groups who would benefit from using it, says Coston.
The Rimshaw can also be booked for private events, such as birthdays or weddings.
Those interested in taking a ride on the Rimshaw or volunteering to be a driver can get a hold of Coston at 403-843-2330.