BBC Rickshaw Challenge rolls into Sunderland
Pedal-powered Ross Jackson is the pride of Sunderland.
The 18-year-old saddled up as the The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need reached his hometown.
Ross is one of six young riders, all of whom have been supported by Children in Need funded projects, taking part in this year’s challenge.
Mixed aggressive epilepsy can cause Ross to collapse multiple times a day and he wears a helmet to protect his head from injury.
The condition limits his freedom, as he requires constant supervision, but Bluewatch Youth Centre has helped him to get out and do the things he loves, including cycling.
His increased concentration while riding makes it unlikely he will have a seizure, so it is safe for him to ride the rickshaw.
BBC Children in Need has been able to support Bluewatch since 2006, thanks to donations from the public.
Accompanied by Easington-born presenter Matt Baker, the Rickshaw Challenge team is covering a 470-mile journey from the Scottish market town of Jedburgh to central London, all to raise money for BBC Children in Need.
They set off from Newcastle at 7.30am today and are due to arrive in Hartlepool this evening. They will work their way down the East Coast in a bid to cross the finish line in London on Friday, in time for the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.
“Every year I am inspired by the incredible young people who take on the Rickshaw Challenge, and this year is no different,” said Matt Baker.
“The six young riders in Team Rickshaw have faced major challenges in their lives already, but thanks to the charity they have been able to overcome so much; and now they feel ready to give back.
“We hope that the public will rally behind them to help raise more money for BBC Children in Need. It really does make such a difference.”
Now in its sixth year, the Challenge has raised more than £12million.
As well as powering the rickshaw, the he young riders will also be deliver speeches to a live audience, explaining their motivations for taking on the challenge this year.
Setting off on Friday 11th November from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders,
One Show viewers can 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 http://pudsey.viewranger.com/.
To support the challenge, you can donate either £5 or £10 by text. To donate £5 text the word TEAM to 70405. To donate £10 text TEAM to 70410. Texts will cost your donation plus the standard network message change.
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 on New Year’s Eve.