For the past six months, our night riders have been gearing up for the challenge set to race through some of London’s biggest sights. On the night, the cyclists will meet at the Lee Valley Vello Park and go on to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye & Buckingham Palace. Each of our cyclists has a fundraising target of £350-400 and have been working hard to gather support.
One of our riders, Julian, is a brain injury survivor and member at Headway East London. He acquired his injury in a swimming accident over ten years ago and has since found cycling has been a massive influence on maintaining a positive lifestyle:
“I first got into cycling around three years ago, I have a friend that I play football with and he suggested we go for a ride. Now we go every day after work. Since then we’ve made a few big trips. We recently did Barnet to Crystal palace, Bromley, Seven Oaks and back to Barnet, and that was on my old bike which was rubbish and I still managed it!”
He continued, “I like riding because it gets you out of the house. Since I’ve been cycling I don’t just sit in my room on my PlayStation, I’m out all the time – I feel better, mentally better. I have friends that I ride with so I get to spend time with them and I have more independence.’
On his time at Headway and being able to return the support, Julian stated: ‘Headway helps a lot of people, it helps you communicate, it gives you loads of support. It feels good to give back to them.’
Sponsored challenges are crucial to maintaining our support of people affected by brain injury. Due to significant strains on Local Authority Social Care budgets, some membership fees have seen no significant uplift in eight years, meaning Headway East London receives just 83% of the actual cost of a Day Service placement. As a result we rely on charitable donations to meet the deficit; which is why sponsored challenges such as this are so vital.
If you’d like to support the Headway Night Riders, visit their Virgin Money Giving page to donate.