The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge

The One Show has announced the return of the Rickshaw Challenge, with a new team of riders and route across England revealed. This year’s team includes seventeen-year-old George D from Weybridge who has been selected for the challenge following his involvement with our Tommy D, bereavement project which is funded by BBC Children in Need.

Back for a fifth year, this year’s team will cover a 470 mile journey from Land’s End to the East End to help fundraise for BBC Children in Need. Beginning on 6th November, the rickshaw team will work their way across England in a bid to cross the finish line in Elstree on Friday 13th November, in time for the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.

In September 2012, George’s dad, Andy, died following a cycling accident. An experienced cyclist, he had gone out for a short ride on a Sunday afternoon when he was knocked from his bike. He later died in hospital. The family took the decision to donate his organs. Although the decision was painful, George knows that his dad would have wanted it that way. The family later learned that the organ donations went on to help eleven other people survive and live fuller lives, including restoring the sight of a new-born baby.

In the months that followed, George worried about how his family would cope without his father. He dreaded social situations where people might ask him questions about his dad, and felt devastated that his dad would never share in the key moments of his life.

Our school’s outreach programme, Helping Understand Bereavement (HUB) supported George in those early weeks and then suggested he attend the Tommy D bereavement group. The group gives George and his brother Fred, a safe space where they can express their feelings to people their own age who’ve been through something similar. In addition to bereavement counselling, the project gives young people aged 12 and upwards the chance to take part in stress-free social activities such as bowling, outdoor survival and meals out.  The project has received funding from BBC Children in Need since 2010.

Speaking of his involvement, George said: “Losing my dad was, and still is difficult, but the support of the group made a huge difference. Knowing that they’re funded by BBC Children in Need really made me want to undertake the Rickshaw Challenge so I’m really happy to be chosen.  I know it will be tough, but I also know that it’ll help raise money to help even more young people. Please do show your support to me and the team, it’ll make a real difference and help me keep pedalling!”

Follow George D’s journey on the Rickshaw Challenge journey here