One Man, One Bike & 4,000 Miles....
Can you help richard Achieve his Fundraising dreams?
A Burton-on-Trent disability consultant is appealing for help to make his dream of raising up to £50,000 for the UK’s leading children’s disability charity a reality by cycling the border of the UK, so he can help battling families receive the vital equipment they need.
Richard Shakespeare, aged 33, has Cerebral Palsy, so he is aware of just how difficult life can be for children without the right equipment. As a result he has decided to help raise money for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, based in Cannock, Staffordshire, and local charity St Giles Hospice by cycling around the border of the UK next year –an impressive 4,030 miles.
Although Richard, from Derbyshire, already has the backing of a former two time world champion para triathlete, Steve Judge, to proceed with the ambitious plan he needs a range of people to help and advise him. As well as an expert on exercise and nutrition to help get him into the best possible shape, Richard needs someone who has experience of this kind of challenge to help him plan a route, as well as people willing to act as support crew on different legs of the journey. However, the first – and largest – challenge is to find an engineering company to build him a trike.
Richard said: “A standard trike wouldn’t realistically be suitable for a journey of this length, which I estimate would take me 12 weeks to complete. As I have Cerebral Palsy I have issues with balance and co-ordination, so I’ll need a trike which is quite low, light and durable which can be propelled by pedal and hand crank.
”I want to prove this can be done by someone who has a disability, so children and their parents know that if they want to achieve something, they can. When I was a child my family was able to fund most of the equipment we needed ourselves and some was funded by the Rotary Club, of which I am a member now. Supporting Newlife is a way for me to give back – and I recognise the battles families go through. Newlife does a very good job as conventional routes to equipment sometimes just don’t work and children don’t receive the support they are entitled to.”
Newlife is a national charity which makes a real difference to children with disabilities or terminal illness and their families. It provide helpline support and grants for a wide range of equipment, from wheelchairs to help children access education and beds so they can sleep safely at night, to communication aids to they can communicate with parents, teachers and friends. Emergency loans provide equipment when a child is terminally ill or life limited, specialist toys are loaned which can change lives in many ways and Comfort Capsules are available to help families make memories when their child is terminally ill.
St Giles Hospice, meanwhile, is a registered local charity which provides free specialist care for people living with cancer and other serious illnesses in Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Whittington (between Lichfield and Tamworth) and Uttoxeter. The hospice spends over £9 million a year providing its specialist services and, with little more than a third of this funded.
Richard, whose disability consultancy is based in Burton on Trent, has already raised £7,500 with a cycle challenge using stationary bikes in Aspire Gym at St George’s Park National Football Centre, with members of Burton Albion Football Club dropping by to help raise money which was then shared amongst a number of charities, including Newlife.
For his new challenge Richard aims to call on his friends in the Rotary Club so he can stay with them as he makes his way around the border of the UK, but he needs people with specific expertise to make it happen.
“It’s ambitious, that’s what I tend to go for, but I can’t do this on my own – I need help. The first step is finding someone to make the adapted trike for me. Hopefully there is a company out there who would see this as a challenge. It wouldn’t be for a one off charity event – I try to do something every two years – and if someone can make the trike I plan to use it repeatedly to raise money for charity.”
Richard has set himself a £50,000 target and all funds raised will be equally split between Newlife and St Giles Hospice.
If you can help Richard achieve his fundraising challenge for Newlife, contact him at [email protected]