Last weekend’s Toy Trust Charity Big Challenge on the Isle of Wight is estimated to have raised £174,000, with the money being distributed to charities that help disabled and disadvantaged children.
Over 255 industry execs took part in the challenge which consisted of either a 130km bike ride, 20km walk, 20km run or a biathlon consisting of a 130km cycle ride and a 20km run.
The main beneficiary is the UK charity Whizz-Kidz, which will receive £90,000 providing mobility equipment that fits the needs of disabled children and transforms their lives. The remainder will help other smaller charities that support disabled and disadvantaged children.
Despite having to deal with thunderstorms and treacherous road conditions, the bike riders, biathletes, walkers and runners all triumphed – and then celebrated with a party to applaud the record-breaking fundraising result.
Whizz-Kidz ambassadors James, Christina and Harriet cheered on the runners at one of the water stations. They supported the event as they know first-hand how much the right wheelchair can change a child’s life. Brother and sister, James and Christina, both have cerebral palsy and without their chairs would not have the freedom and independence they have now.
Harriet contracted an illness at the age of eight that left her in a wheelchair. Before her illness she was a keen gymnast and regardless of her illness wanted to continue with her interest in sport; with help from Stoke Mandeville hospital she found herself participating in archery. She received a specialist wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz to help her to participate and has now been shortlisted to compete to represent Great Britain at the Rio Olympics. The money raised on Saturday will help to change the lives of children like Harriet, James and Christina, so a huge thank you to all the sponsors and participants of the challenge.
Toy Trust Big Challenge organiser, Nick Austin, said: “Given the appalling weather conditions at the start, this year’s Big Challenge event was a real triumph of human spirit in the face of adversity. We raised an incredible amount of money for the Toy Trust ….and had great fun in the process.”
Toy Trust Chair, Foye Pascoe, added: “The Toy Trust goes from strength to strength each year with more people and companies giving support and more money being raised. Our sponsors and those taking part last weekend should be immensely proud of the funding we provide every year to so many amazing children’s charities like Whizz-Kidz.”
Whizz-Kidz CEO, Ruth Owen OBE, said: “We are very grateful to those who participated in the Toy Trust Charity Big Challenge in order to raise money for Whizz-Kidz. The money will go a long way to transforming the lives of the 70,000 disabled children who are still in need of the right equipment and services that suits their needs.”
The Toy Trust will shortly announce the details of the plans for 2015 fundraising events.