AROUND two dozen elderly people took the opportunity to enjoy a safe day out in Dollar last week, following months of sheltering at home.

The Lunch Club at Home by the Playpen Café and Cycling Without Age Clacks organised the event at The Hive last Thursday, June 17.

With hearty soup, freshly-made sandwiches tasty baked treats and free trishaw rides all on offer – along with some brilliant weather – the day was a great success.

Some 21 guests, as well as family members and carers, were in attendance for what was the first sit-in offering of the Lunch Club at Home by the Playpen Café – which launched during lockdown to support elderly residents in the area.

Playpen Café founder Alexandra Ostroumoff-Croucher explained the event was a milestone for many in the senior community, most of whom were in their 80s and 90s.

It was the first real step back into community life, with folks coming together to share good food, good conversations and even better weather.

Alexandra said: "It was a really fun and also an important day for our guests, being able to take part in the type of community event that hadn't been able to take place since as long ago as December 2019.

"Our team of lunch club volunteers worked incredibly hard to make it all come together and create something really special for the guests, making sure they felt relaxed and also safe spending time together.

"It was absolutely wonderful having the Cycling Without Age team join us and offer trishaw rides around the village.

"This was something totally new for Dollar and our lunch guests to experience and it was a joy to see couples zipping off on the rides, giggling away."

Offering the trishaw rides was Henry Gill, who launched the Clacks branch of Cycling Without Age in 2019 to reduce social isolation.

He was supported by two volunteers just out of trishaw pilot school in Robert Bocking and Ian Moorhouse.

Mr Gill hopes Dollar – and indeed every settlement in the Wee County – will one day have their own trishaws and volunteers to offer free fun rides.

He was delighted to see folks out the house and said: "It was awesome, the food was excellent, the venue was brilliant – you could see all the kids running about the playground.

"It was just a good day and the weather was superb."

The event even caught the attention of Cycling Without Age Scotland chief executive Christine Bell and Dollar councillor Dennis Coyne.

The day was such a success, discussions are now ongoing to see if it could become a regular fixture in the Dollar and Muckhart calendar.

Meanwhile, the Lunch Club at Home is set to continue its food delivery work for the rest of the year to support elderly people in the area.