A new charity aimed at inspiring disabled adults to take up cycling as a means of increasing their fitness, independence and wellbeing, launched its first major cycling event taking place next week.
Riders from EMpowered People are this wee taking part in the charity’s first coast-to-coast ride, spanning 160 miles over three days from the west of the country to the east.
The ride began in Carnforth today, Monday, September 9, and finishes in Flamborough Head on September 11.
EMpowered People promises to put fun and excitement back into the lives of people with disabilities through the power of cycling.
The charity also provides advice, training, support and encouragement for new cyclists or those returning to cycling after an injury or illness, and has recently received more than £9,000 from the Big Lottery Fund in order to professionally train and provide disabled people with modern inclusive cycles.
Money from the grant will go towards funding two of the charity’s inclusive cycles, one of which will be used in the coast-to-coast ride.
All riders will have full support from the EMpowered people service team for the duration of the journey.
Simon Lord, founder of EMpowered People, said: “The ride is an excellent way to challenge perceptions of disabled cycling whilst also helping
the participants achieve their own individual fitness goals and hopefully inspire other riders to get involved with something so challenging yet rewarding.
“Each rider will have two helpers and a tailor made programme to support them through the journey.”
Riders include John Aspinall, Theresa Dunn, Colin Fielding, Martin Roberts, Sarah Underwood and Simon Lord himself.
All the riders have some form of disability and are determined to break barriers and set a milestone with the ride.
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG)’s main responsibility is to distribute 40 per cent of all funds raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
Around 11 pence of every pound spent on a lottery ticket goes to these good causes, totalling around £600m each year, and since June 2004 BIG has awarded more than £6bn to projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
Simon added: “We are delighted and extremely grateful for the funding from BIG.
“Our main aim is to get people cycling along with challenging the perceptions of disabled cycling by participating in high profile rides and events to raise awareness, and the funding will go a long way in helping to reach this aim.
“We hope that with our and BIG’s help, disabled people will reach horizons and goals that until only recently seemed insurmountable.”
For more information about EMpowered People, or to register your interest for next year’s coast-to-coast ride, please visit www.empoweredpeople.co.uk or call 01706 839008 or 07702 784916.