A group of Lifeways staff from the East Midlands recently took on the gruelling challenge of cycling from York to Derby. The team set off on Friday 27th May and reached their destination on Sunday 29th May, where they were greeted by a welcome party attended by their friends, family, colleagues and the people they support.

The team was made up of Service Managers Jade Fidler and Rosie Walsh, Support Worker Kerrie Graham, and Colin Blake, the Office Manager’s husband. They were supported by Area Manager Rachel Graham who followed them along the route in her van carrying tools, food, first aid kits and other essential supplies.

Jade told us: “We cycled a total of 160 miles in three days. The route on the first day from York to Doncaster was a nice easy flat ride through fields. Day two took us from Doncaster to Clumber Park near Worksop – it was supposed to be 56 miles in total but as we arrived late the park gates were closed! After the initial panic we consulted the map and had to take a 12 mile detour. The terrain was very hilly. On the third day we rode from Clumber Park all the way home to Pride Park. The joy and pride in everyone’s faces as we came home made it all seem real as I realised what a great effort we had made.”

The team’s aim aim was to raise over £3000 to host an evening in celebration of the successes of the people we support and their staff teams. The black tie event will be attended by 180 people, who will be treated to an awards ceremony, two course meal and a disco.

The awards to be presented to the people we support are: Outstanding Community Involvement, Outstanding Lifestyle Change, Outstanding Money Management, Increased Independence and Outstanding Life Achievement. The staff award categories are: New Professional of the Year, Highest Attendance Record, Special Recognition, Outstanding Achievement, Breaking Down Barriers and Worker of the Year Award.

The bike ride raised £1800 towards the team’s target. You can still sponsor them by visiting their Just Giving page. They added another £500 to their total with activities including a cake sale, a tombola, a raffle and a sponsored walk. In the coming weeks a car boot sale will be held, three people we support in Nottingham are taking part in a sponsored swim, and staff will play in a netball tournament.