Cycling duo aim to raise £20K for stroke survivor

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AN Islander who plans to cycle the length of Britain in June with his partner to raise money for a young stroke survivor’s rehabilitation is appealing for funds – and accommodation during their challenge.

Joe Lambert and Ellen Raymond will be cycling the 1,800km route from John O’Groats to Land’s End in the first half of next month.

They are taking up the challenge in aid of a friend, Will, who suffered a spinal cord injury and stroke in April 2022 which has affected his strength and control over his body. In March this year he moved to a rehabilitation centre.

When he leaves this facility, however, he will be ‘fending for himself’, Mr Lambert said.

Ms Raymond added: ‘We won’t know what he needs until he leaves the rehab facility, but the money will go towards access to specialist equipment and physio. Although Will’s life will be very different to before the accident, we hope to be able to help him to return to daily life in the best way possible, including gradually returning to adapted variations of sports he has always enjoyed, such as biking, skiing and surfing.’

The money could go towards an adaptive exercise bike, home gym, or cutting-edge technology to help him learn to walk again.

Mr Lambert said: ‘We are both studying physiotherapy at university, and Ellen had a placement in the rehab centre and got to know what he was going through. Once the idea was mentioned to do the cycle in support of him, we wondered if people would be willing to donate to a cause that wasn’t a big charity. But it’s taken off more than we expected.’

The intention was to raise £1,000, but now the pair have upped the target to £20,000 after donations passed the £6,000 mark.

Both Mr Lambert and Ms Raymond have cycled long distances before, but ‘this is the first one we’ve done for charity’, the Islander explained.

‘It adds pressure, but gives more motivation and meaning to it as well.’

Mr Lambert continued: ‘We are feeling both excitement and nerves before the challenge. The Highlands, Devon and Cornwall are going to be quite hilly, so we are nervous about that, but the views look unbelievable.

‘We are going to be camping and sofa-surfing the whole way. We’ve got a tent and we’ve been out for some practice cycles, but we are calling on friends and family to help provide accommodation, and already have a couple of places dotted around the country where we know we can stay. We are happy to camp in anyone’s garden, if they are offering it and it is safe.’

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