On Sunday August 14, despite the extreme heat, 52 amazing individuals jumped in the saddle and collectively cycled 2,000 miles in aid of children’s charity Ride High, raising over £17,000.
It’s the second time the charity has organised its Cycle Challenge and invited teams to cycle either a 100, 50 or – new for 2022 – 25-mile route. It’s not a competitive event – but designed to bring people together, to encourage outdoor activity, and to help promote good health and happiness.
There is a distinct parallel between the aims of the event and how Ride High aims to support and enrich the lives of vulnerable children in Milton Keynes – the difference being that the children ride horses instead of bikes. For children who have experienced and continue to experience great trauma in their young lives, Ride High uses horses and an associated educational programme to engage them, to increase their confidence and self-esteem and to encourage positive mental health and wellbeing.
Grace (pictured above) who is 13, is a young carer for her mum and suffers with severe anxiety. Grace describes Ride High as a place where she can forget about her problems and stresses… it’s a positive distraction. Over a six-month period at the charity, Grace built a special connection with the horses. She’s able to sense how they mirror our feelings and behaviour and so has learnt to be calm and less anxious around them. Where she was very quiet when she started Ride High, her self-confidence has grown and she’s now happy to speak out. Coming to Ride High has provided encouragement, comfort, routine, and given Grace the self-confidence to know she’s going to be okay.
It’ll come as no surprise that children’s mental health and wellbeing has been substantially impacted by the pandemic. But whilst Ride High is receiving an unprecedented number of referrals for children in need within the community, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to access the funding required to support them. That is why Ride High is so very grateful to those who participated in and supported the Cycle Challenge. The incredible amount of money raised will fund 12 of the children from the waiting list to attend Ride High for a three-month programme.
Knowing the impact their actions will have on the lives of vulnerable children will no doubt have been a contributory factor to the smiles on the faces of the participants as they crossed the finish line. To top it off they were rewarded with a special medal, hand-decorated by the Ride High children, and a celebratory barbecue.
Carl Porter, Managing Director, Resolution Homes, said:
“It was a real pleasure to enter a team into the Cycle Challenge. We all had a great day – no heatwave was going to stop us! – and it was good to do something that brought us together as a team, outside of the office. Knowing that our efforts were supporting a charity that provides such an invaluable service to children in our community made it even more special.”
In addition to all the participants, Ride High would like to thank all their volunteers who supported on the day, helping to keep everyone safe and hydrated, event sponsors: All Things Business, Bailey MK, Cawleys, EMW Law, Resolution Homes, SIS and WSA Communications, and medal sponsors MK Gateway.
For more information about Ride High visit the website.
Tickets are available for a Charity Golf Day at Woburn on Wednesday, October 19, and the Charity Ball on Saturday, January 21, 2023