Since 2011, The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge has raised over £21 million for BBC Children in Need, with every penny going on to make a difference to the lives of children and young people across the UK who need it most (see below for how to donate).
This year the Rickshaw Challenge returns with a new route through our area, a new rickshaw, and a new team of six young people, all of whom have been supported by BBC Children in Need-funded projects. They will be joined by The One Show’s Matt Baker on Day Eight of the challenge.
In a first for the annual Challenge, which is now in its eighth year, the 423 mile route will start in Calais on Friday 9 November. From Calais the team will pedal 31 miles through the service tunnel of the Channel Tunnel (a route only travelled previously by the likes of professional cyclists). Once through the tunnel, the team will head north from Folkestone and make their way through England and Wales, before finally finishing in Salford on Friday 16th November, during the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.
Our Part of the Route
On Day Four, Monday 12 November, The Rickshaw Challenge team will be making a 56 mile journey from Hook in Hampshire, through Kingsclere, Woolton Hill, Kintbury (where they will be stopping for lunch), across Hungerford Common then down Hungerford High Street, then along A4 to Marlborough and ending the day in Royal Wootton Basset.
The full route can be seen here: pudsey.viewranger.com/
Additionally, this year a new rickshaw has been built by a team of engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. Experts at McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies have created the next generation rickshaw from the ground up. With their help the rickshaw is now even more accessible to the young people taking on the eight day challenge.
The design of the new McLaren Rickshaw means that this rickshaw is more accessible than the last, but still a challenge for those riding it. A new drivetrain has been installed to improve its reliability, as well as new braking mounts. Additionally an inter-changeable seat post has been installed which can be easily changed along the route to suit whoever is riding the rickshaw.
The team’s progress will be broadcast live on The One Show throughout the week, as co-presenter Alex Jones follows the team on their 423 mile journey.
This Year’s Team
Abby (16) from London. At the age of 12, Abby was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She endured six rounds of chemotherapy and in January 2015 Abby was told that the cancer was in remission. Unfortunately, two weeks later Abby’s cancer aggressively returned and she was told that it had spread into a bone in her back, and progressed to Stage 4. With limited options left, Abby took part in a medical trial which included stem cell therapy, which was successful and she went into remission in October 2015. Abby has been supported by Teens Unite. The project runs motivational workshops for young people following a cancer diagnosis. For Abby, it gave her a space to spend time with other youngsters going through similar experiences and helped rebuild her confidence.
Harry (17) from Plymouth. When Harry was one years old he was diagnosed with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, and Worster-Drought Syndrome which affects his facial muscles. Over the years he has had numerous operations to enable him to use his legs more easily. Harry can find speaking difficult so to communicate he uses a combination of speech, a tablet app and sign language to make sure he is understood. Harry is very determined and is looking forward to taking part in the Rickshaw Challenge and showing the world that he can do anything. He’s been supported by Friends and Families of Special Children which run activity sessions and provides support to disabled children and their families.
Kayla (16) from Derry/Londonderry. Kayla always felt very loved when she was growing up, but her mother struggled to look after her as she suffered from alcoholism. Kayla went to live with her grandfather at the age of seven, but was always close to her mother. In January 2017, Kayla’s mum died from an alcohol related condition and when she passed away Kayla struggled to process what had happened. Kayla’s dad is also registered disabled after contracting a rare flesh eating bug and she helps care for him. Kayla has been supported by Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, a healthy living centre which gives young people a safe space, improves their wellbeing and empowers them to reach their potential. For Kayla the project has been a lifeline to her and she credits them for helping her deal with her grief.
Kieran (18) from South Wales. Kieran grew up as a young carer for his mum and his younger siblings. Eventually Kieran became unable to cope. He struggled to control his feelings and acted up at school. By the age of 13 things had become so difficult that Kieran was placed in foster care and gradually he began to change his life. He started attending The Hwb Torfaen, a project that supports NEET young people to engage them with education, develop their skills and encourage volunteering. Kieran is now in a positive place; he’s close to his family and training to become an electrician.
Maisie (16) from Southampton. Maisie was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. At age two she was diagnosed with spinal compression which meant that a bone was squashing her spinal cord and made movement difficult for her. Maisie had to undergo two operations to remove the bone, and at age 13, also had to have operations to straighten her leg. Maisie was introduced to Dwarf Sports Association when she was four years old and she credits the organisation for having such a positive influence on her life. Maisie enjoys competing in swimming, badminton and boccia. She is determined not to let her disability stop her and is looking forward to the Rickshaw Challenge.
Phoebe (19) from Leicester. Phoebe developed a stammer around the age of eight. Phoebe was a very vibrant, chatty and happy child but this began to change as the stammer took hold. By the time Phoebe was in secondary school the stammer had reached its worst and even the smallest speaking tasks would fill Phoebe with dread. She felt like she couldn’t express herself and her true personality was being hidden. She felt alone, isolated and held back by her speech impediment. Phoebe has been supported by Action for Stammering Children and is now part of their advisory Youth Panel. It enables young people with a stammer to gain confidence when communicating and build a peer support network. Phoebe is now studying Medicine at university.
Ahead of this year’s challenge, Matt Baker said: This is the eighth year that we’ll be heading out on the roads with the Rickshaw Challenge and I can’t wait to get back in the saddle alongside six truly inspirational young people.
Every year the support that we get never ceases to amaze me, it’s fantastic to see how people from all across the UK get behind the Challenge and I’m looking forward to seeing all those friendly faces willing us on again this year, and helping us to raise so much money for a charity which is incredibly close to my heart.
Fellow The One Show presenter, Alex Jones added: The Rickshaw Challenge is a chance for our viewers to really see how funding from BBC Children in Need is making a difference to young people’s lives. It’s one of the highlights of our year at The One Show, and I can’t wait to cheer on the team as they conquer another epic journey across the country on the rickshaw.
How to Get Involved & Support The Challenge
This year the public are being asked to take on their own cycling challenge to raise money and Ride with Team Rickshaw with support from cycling app Strava. The public can do their own cycling challenge by logging their miles through the app, and Strava will automatically add their distance to the collective total. From 10th October there is also the chance to win a bike with Strava by entering the Ride 50 Miles for BBC Children in Need’s challenge. Members of the public also have the option to log their miles manually; just check out the FAQs on the BBC Children in Need website to sign up and for guidance on using Strava.
The One Show viewers will be able to follow Team Rickshaw’s progress on the show each day, but the full route including a real-time update of the rickshaw’s progress is also available at pudsey.viewranger.com/.
To support the Rickshaw Challenge, you can donate £5, £10 or £20 by text. To donate £5 text the word TEAM to 70405. To donate £10 text TEAM to 70410. To donate £20 text the word TEAM to 70420. Texts will cost your donation plus your standard network message charge. All of your donation will go to BBC Children in Need. You must be 16 or over and please ask for the bill payer’s permission. For more information and full terms and conditions go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey. The Text to donate Service will close at 23:59 on the 31st December 2018.