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Cyclists put wheels in motion to fundraise for children’s charity

A group of keen cyclists came together to complete a 200km bike ride from Durham to Edinburgh to raise £4,500 for the leading North East charity

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A group of keen cyclists came together to complete a 200km bike ride to raise money for the leading North East charity for children with physical disabilities.

The group of eight cyclists joined forces to raise funds for Heel and Toe, a charity which supports its service users with a range of free therapies from its base in Pelton, Durham.

The group cycled from Durham to Edinburgh, tackling 10,000 ft of uphill riding and raising a total of £4,500, which is enough to support a child with full year of therapy.

Heel and Toe, based in Pelton, Chester Le Street, was established in 2008 due to lack of therapy for children with physical disabilities provided by the NHS. 

The charity currently helps over 125 children from across the North East each week free therapy including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, conductive education and special educational needs tutoring.

Cyclist Peter Bartley, who is a trustee for the charity and a senior director at North East chartered surveyors and estate agents Bradley Hall, said: “I have been involved with Heel and Toe for some time now and I have seen first-hand the fantastic impact its work has on children in the region who need therapy for physical disabilities.

“As a group of keen cyclists we thought this would be a great opportunity for us to go the extra mile and raise money for such an important charity. It was a great challenge for all of us and we are incredibly proud to have raised enough money to provide therapy to a child for a full year.”

Peter Bartley has been a trustee and has supported the charity for a number of years, alongside his company Bradley Hall. The property firm recently raised over £17,500 for the charity during its race day fundraiser.

The fundraising comes at an important time for Heel and Toe as it continues its Footprints Building Appeal. The appeal was set up to fund the transformation of a derelict building in Perkinsville, Durham, into a specialist centre which will provide children with physical disabilities with a variety of therapies.

Around £280,000 is required to renovate the centre, which has been designed to include a hydrotherapy pool used by fully trained specialised staff, a large adapted therapy room, a special Olympic sized trampoline with hoist systems as well as self- contained, fully accessible accommodation for children, siblings and parents to use whilst accessing weekly intensive physiotherapy.

Heel and Toe chairman, Paul Gilsenan, said; “We would like to thank the cycling team and its sponsors for raising the funds. We rely solely on donations to provide free therapy to children with physical disabilities in the North East, and kind fundraising activities like this make a fantastic and positive impact on the lives of the children we aim to help and their families.”