Pedal power challenge to boost Midlands charity
Published by kerri smith for Reach the People Charity in Health and also in Care and Support, Communities
The team from Trident Reach the People Charity preparing for their cycle challenge
Customers, staff and supporters of a Birmingham-based charity are gearing up for a cycle challenge to raise much-needed funds for its work.
The team of cyclists will clock up between 240 and 250 miles over four days, visiting as many of Trident Reach the People Charity’s different services as possible along the way.
Funds raised will support the charity’s work with vulnerable people across the Midlands region.
Trident Reach provides housing, care and support services to the homeless, people fleeing domestic abuse, young people, the elderly, people with disabilities and people with mental health problems.
Three former customers – two with learning disabilities and a man who used to be homeless – are joining the pedal power challenge.
Fundraising cyclists set off on Thursday (5th June) from the charity’s young people’s service in Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, at 10am, then take in Derbyshire and Shropshire during the course of the ride before finishing in Birmingham on Sunday.
The venture is the brainchild of John Laidlaw, a support worker at the charity’s Bramble Close service for people with learning disabilities in Birmingham, who previously organised a fundraising bike ride to Scotland and a fundraising cycle in the Venezuelan Andes.
John, aged 45, said: “We will be cycling up to 70 miles a day and take in many of Trident Reach’s services in the area.
“We have lots of support and those taking part are really enthusiastic. I would encourage well-wishers to come along and wave us off or support us on the route.”
John began serious cycle training two months ago and is still keen to participate despite falling off his bike last week.
Eight of the team aim to complete the whole route, with 10 others planning to cycle a day’s leg of the journey.
The first day involves travelling to Derbyshire to visit the Old Bakehouse, a service for vulnerable young adults in Ilkeston, and Oakland Village, an extra care scheme for over-55s in Swadlincote.
Day two is particularly challenging, covering the furthest distance, and will include a visit to Maer Lane, a registered care home for people with physical and learning disabilities.
Day three takes them to Windsor House, a registered care home in Oswestry, and Abbey Foregate, supported housing for people recovering from mental health problems in Shrewsbury. The final day will end in Bramble Close, Aston.
Well-wishers from Trident Reach’s central office in Oldbury will wave off the cyclists on Thursday as they set off on their expedition, which is being sponsored by CPC Training Consultants Ltd in Oldbury.
Those taking part, who each have a fundraising target of at least £250, include John; former Trident Reach customers Robert Howe and Ashley Cullum. Daniel White; who work in homeless services; Samora Wilson who works in learning disabilities services; Head of Finance Patrick Smith and Grants Manager Jane Strand.
They will be joined by Caroline Berry, Head of Health and Wellbeing; Sports Development Officer Gemma Goode; care manager Owen Griffith; Nicola Davenport from Shropshire services; local supporters Geri Maguire and Caroline Fletcher.
Their support crew will be headed up by volunteer driver Cliff Warrington, from Wolverhampton. He will play a key role in route management and carrying supplies in the support vehicle.
Anyone interested in making a donation towards the fundraising challenge can do so through the charity’s website at www.reachthecharity.org.uk