VIDEO: Volunteers smash 100 lap target at Sunnybank Trust's cycling challenge (From This Is Local London)
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VIDEO: Volunteers smash 100 lap target at Sunnybank Trust's cycling challenge
Volunteers at a charity event on Saturday were so enthusiastic that they cycled four times farther than their target distance.
Volunteers, users and members of The Sunnybank Trust, based in St Barnabas Church, in Temple Road, Epsom, were joined by Epsom’s mayor, people with disabilities from nearby care homes and cycle-loving youngsters, at the 100 Lap Cycle Challenge, held at the Harrier Centre, in Poole Road, Ewell.
The Epsom Guardian launched the Shine On appeal for the charity, which supports people with learning disabilities, in May to help it raise the £75,000 it needs by next April to continue running its weekly social club, Kites; a friendship programme and independent advocacy service.
Surrey Wheels for All, an initiative, based in the centre, which allows disabled children to cycle using specially-adapted bikes - some of which are able to accommodate wheelchairs - approached The Sunnybank Trust after reading about the appeal.
And on Saturday the young and old defied the rain to cycle on side-by-side tandems, hand cycles and tricycles, to complete a collective 400 laps of the 400m track.
Mandy McCann, a volunteer at the Kites Club, completed eight laps on the day, raising £143 in sponsorship.
She said: "The whole event was very good. I don’t know why more people can’t come and use these bikes as they would be very good for them.
"A lot more people have turned up than we thought. Hopefully we will get a bit more money coming through."
Alin Boros, a carer, completed 20 laps on one of the bikes adapted for wheelchairs.
He said: "The service users enjoyed it. It was good for exercise, something active for them and they enjoyed being outside as most of them spend a lot of time inside. Doing anything outside is fun."
Arthur Duff, a trustee of The Sunnybank Trust, who was charged with counting the laps completed on the day, said he had been "very, very impressed with the fantastic turnout".
He said: "The service users have enjoyed participating and really actively contributing. Instead of us giving something to them, they are bringing it to us."
Epsom’s mayor, Councillor Colin Taylor, completed several laps with his wife Josie, the mayoress.
He said: "This has been a really good opportunity to see what can be done with these cycles. I didn’t know about these cycles before this event was organised and I hope other people can benefit from them.
"You can get some good exercise in a non-threatening, safe environment and it helps with your coordination."
Lloyd Mudeg, a support worker, said: "One of my guys doesn’t ever do anything physical, never rides a bike, but this has given him the chance to do something."
Tom Bradley, who works at Surrey Wheels For All, said he was struck by how many laps some of the service users completed.
He said: "One fellow has just kept going since the beginning. People have come here and made the most of it."
Surrey Wheels for All was recently awarded an extra £40,000 which will be used to buy 40 more bikes and it is hoping to expand its provision to adults.
Its bikes will be at the starting line for Saturday’s Tour of Britain, with the professional cyclists being led from Epsom Downs Racecourse by users of Surrey Wheels for All.
Matthew Wing, coordinator of the charity, said: "Everyone has done very, very well. We are part of a revolution. We’ve had lots of revolutions round this track. Surrey’s gone cycling mad and we are just part of that."
Participants cheered as the final bikes crossed the line and were handed certificates of achievement from The Sunnybank Trust.
Sponsor The Sunnybank Trust's team by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/sunnybank100lapchallenge
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are a number of ways you can support the Shine On Appeal:
Make a donation:
1. Visit the charity's Justgiving page on The Sunnybank Trust's website and click on 'donate';
2. Text £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to The Sunnybank Trust by texting TSBT16 followed by the amount to 70070;
3. Post cheques and postal orders payable to "The Sunnybank Trust" to: The Sunnybank Trust, St. Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8HA;
4. Volunteer to help fundraise or run an event, or donate gifts, services or vouchers for raffles.
Call the fundraising team on 01372 749871 or email email@example.com.
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