Early risers in Lewes planned to turn out in droves to welcome BBC TV’s fifth Rickshaw Challenge as it headed through the town centre on Thursday morning (November 12).
Riders in the 470 mile Challenge are pedalling from Lands End via Somerset, Hampshire, Brighton, Lewes and London to Elstree in time for the Children in Need Appeal Show on Friday, November 13.
The team, led by TV’s Matt Baker, comprises six young riders who have all been supported by BBC Children in Need funded projects. And there’s even a strong Lewes connection thanks to Lucy Wox, 16, whose family come from the town.
Her aunt Sue Lindsay from Landport told the Express: “My sister’s daughter, Lucy is one of the six inspirational young people riding from Lands End to complete this challenge. Lucy’s mum Helen grew up in Lewes so it will be great to have the town cheering her on.”
Lucy now lives in Northumberland. She has cerebral palsy, deafness and sight problems but her buoyant personality and ‘can do’ attitude mean this hasn’t held her back. Doctors first thought she may never be able to walk or talk but Lucy proved them wrong. For the last four years Lucy has attended the Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (CVYP,) a Children in Need funded group that works with young people with disabilities. With support from the project, Lucy recently passed her bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Sue said: “I am, of course, quite possibly the proudest auntie in the world right now. We’ve all been glued to the story of the six young riders who have battled astonishingly bad weather - storms, wind and rain - to get this far. My sister says Matt has been a wonderful inspiration to them all. He has learnt a special sign language to communicate with Lucy as with the terrible weather, she can’t hear him. They’ve all found it tough going. Lucy started the ride at the hard end in Lands End and she managed just six and a half miles on that first day. Since then she’s upped her distances and is now riding more than 12 miles a day.”
Sue said Lucy put herself forward for the Challenge, and was interviewed by the Children in Need team before being chosen.
The youngsters’ progress is reported live every evening on the BBC’s One Show when presenter Alex Jones in the studio links up with Matt Baker on the road. In total the Challenge has raised £7.9 million.
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