News archive

June 2014

Monday, 16 June 2014

Roy's coast to coast wheelchair challenge

Roy's coast to coast wheelchair challenge

04th Jun 2014

Well, its the day after the completion of the Roy's Coast to Coast Challenge. The "team" still woke up early and then realised that "reality had already bitten" and instead of enjoying the English countryside, for some, it was back to work.

However the day still had elements evolving around the challenge. Repairing and cleaning everything that had broken during the 215 miles - Iain's bike, the punctured wheelchair tyre, broken arm rest and the back window of the support vehicle (which some one kindly smashed for us on the second day of the challenge). More uplifting was watching the fantastic film produced by Phil for BBC Look North on the iplayer - great to see some of our camera shy friends (you know who you are!) on screen!

However, the most important job today was for Anna and Roy to say a huge thank you to a lot of very special people.

So, our hats off to the......

- 108 people who gave up their time to walk with us

- the other 17 people who came along to wave us off or meet us at the end of the day

- the 29 "machines" that helped to make the journey inclusive (2 wheelchairs, 2 trampers, 2 trikes, 17 bikes, 1 electric bike, 4 scooters and a buggy!)

- the 16 dogs that provided hours of amusement:)

Your friendship, support, energy, humour and kindness made the journey an incredibly humbling and emotional experience for the two of us. It was an experience which will leave a deep impression on our lives. We can't thank you enough.

We never liked singling out individuals but there are 5 people we have to mention.

To our brilliant driver/mechanic/map reader and emergency services - Dad we simply couldn't have done it without you. It was magical to spend this time with you.

To Mum - we know you wanted to be there, but believe us, you walked every step of the journey with us and this was for you!

To Kelly Sapsford and Tanya Earnshaw (and of course Pebbles) - the journey would have been so much harder without you - you were the "team" and we enjoyed every minute of your company.

To Chris Christou - who taught me how to drive the FourX, but more importantly, has helped me come to terms with being in a wheelchair.

Finally, our immense thanks to everyone who has donated funds to this special cause.

Incredibly, as we write this the total is over £22,000!

Roy's job now is to complete the audits of the RSPB Nature Reserves, produce a report for the TPT Executive Committee on how accessibility on the trail can be improved and then ensure that ALL the money raised is spent on implementing the changes identified on RSPB Reserves over the next year.

It is my pledge that the Coast to Coast Challenge will immeasurably improve accessibility - be it for wheelchairs, families or those with other mobility issues - and that RSPB Nature Reserves in Northern England will be exemplars of accessibility in the countryside.

It's been a blast!!!!