The One Show presenter Matt Baker and six intrepid teenagers have set off on a 470 mile rickshaw journey that will cross from Land’s End to the East End to help fundraise for BBC Children in Need.
The six volunteer riders, aged between 16 and 18, will take turns to pedal their yellow rickshaw from Land’s End to Bristol, along to Winchester and Brighton, and finally via Maidstone to London.
The fifth year of the challenge, which has already raised over £7.9 million to date, claims to be one of the hardest routes so far - and Matt Baker will cycle the entire route alongside the rickshaw.
The team will work their way across England in a bid to cross the finish line in Elstree on Friday 13 November, in time for the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.
The riders include Amira who is 17, from the West Midlands. In 2013 Amira’s older sister, Elle, suffered a sudden brain haemorrhage and now requires 24 hour care. When Elle was ready to move on from hospital, Amira discovered The Children’s Trust online and Elle attended for rehabilitation. BBC Children in Need has been able to support The Children’s Trust since 1997.
Elliot is 16 and from Essex. At 14 Elliot was diagnosed with rare blood cancer, Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He had tumours across his body, including a large growth near his pelvis. Although now in remission the cancer remains and Elliot will have to be monitored regularly. Throughout his treatment Elliot was supported by Teens Unite, a group set-up to help young people with cancer. Through the project, Elliot met Sadie who became a good friend and a pillar for advice. Unfortunately she lost her battle to cancer earlier this year. She was the first person that Elliot had known who had died of cancer, and he will be undertaking the Rickshaw Challenge in her memory.
Erin is 18 and from Scotland. Aged eight Erin was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and now faces near-constant pain from her condition. Erin has had multiple operations, but in many places in her body the cartilage and bone have worn away. She joined Arthritis Care aged 14, and credits the project with helping her to cope with her condition.
George D is 17 and from Surrey. In September 2012, George’s dad died when he was knocked off his bike. Since the accident, George and his brother have attended Tommy D, a bereavement counselling group from the The Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.
George G is 16 and from London. George has Downs Syndrome and attends Pro Corda – a group which uses music to allow disabled and special education needs children to progress socially and personally. The organisation has received BBC Children in Need funding since 2007, with George attending for the last four years.
Lucy is 16 and from Northumberland. Lucy has cerebral palsy, deafness and sight problems, ns doctors had originally thought she may never be able to walk or talk, but Lucy proved them wrong. For the last four years, she has attended the Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (CVYP), a BBC Children in Need funded group that works with young people with disabilities.
To support the challenge, you can donate either £5 or £10 by text. To donate £5 text the word TEAM to 70705 or to donate £10 text TEAM to 70710. T
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.