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Care-Experienced Young People Go the Distance

Care-Experienced Young People Go the Distance: 488 Miles Biked to Support Local Homeless Charity

fundraisers taking part in the bikeathon
Bikeathon participants

Cheshire, UK – 21 June, 2024 – Nine Care-Experienced Young People, the staff team who support them on the programme, alongside an army of volunteers from teams across the council and beyond, successfully raised £815 and accomplished 488 miles at a 12-hour Bikeathon held at Crewe Lifestyle Centre. The Bikeathon, which took place on Thursday 20th June, 2024, from 8 AM to 8 PM is not only a testament to the determination and spirit of the Young People and their supporters but also a significant fundraising effort.

The event, organised by the Cheshire East Venture with Confidence Team which is made up of workers from the Virtual School and Care Leaver Service is part of a 12-week programme designed to empower Care-Experienced Young People not currently in education, employment or training. This initiative is a personal development programme which aims to build confidence, and equip Care-Experienced Young People with essential skills to move towards their personal education, training and employment aspirations. The 3-month programme features a variety of engaging activities, which enable them to explore educational and employment opportunities and includes a community project.

This year the young people decided their community project would be to raise money by organising a Bikeathon. The fundraiser was a council and community event, supported by Pure Insight, a North West based charity which supports Care-Experienced Young People. Local Crewe businesses, including Asda and Tesco provided much-needed snacks and drinks for those taking part in the event and Everybody Leisure kindly provided the equipment and space to make this happen. Also, Nantwich based Creative Agency, Eleven provided a useful session as part of the programme which provided education around ideas for planning and delivering a project. Eleven continued their support by attending the event and adding to the miles travelled!

The primary goal of this initiative was to raise £600 for The Lighthouse Centre, an organisation dedicated to supporting vulnerable residents in Crewe. Funds will be directed toward purchasing a new oven for The Lighthouse Centre's kitchen, ensuring the continuation of their vital meal services for those in need. Any extra funds will contribute to Pure Insight which supports Care-Experienced Young People in the transition to adulthood.

The Young People have been actively involved in planning the fundraiser, taking charge of designing banners, t-shirts, posters, and more.

"We are incredibly proud of our Young People and their commitment to giving back to the community," said Katie Foster and Bridget Marsh from Cheshire East. "This programme is about more than just raising funds; it's about instilling a sense of achievement, building skills, and fostering connections and we know this will be a day they will always remember. The hard work and pride they have shown in making this event so successful is a testament to them and the staff who support them."

Morgan (18), himself a Care-Experienced Young Person and an apprentice of 4 months with the Cheshire East Participation Team, which has been set up to ensure Young People’s voices are heard, captured the sentiment of the work he does, events like the Bikeathon and how it helps.

"Empowering young people who have experienced traumatic life events brings a sense of happiness and gratitude. It keeps my heart beating, knowing that we're doing a beautiful job and making a difference."

Daniel (18 ), who participated for the full 12 hours, added his thoughts on the Venture With Confidence programme:

"It helps with communication skills and allows us to meet new people who become friends."

His enthusiasm was echoed by Lacey (20 years) who has participated in previous years and Eadaoin (18 years), who became known as the Singing Bike Rider for keeping spirits high with an outburst of song here and there.

"We are aiming to not only meet but exceed our fundraising goal," added Bridget. "Any additional funds raised will go towards Pure Insight, further supporting the ongoing programmes. This includes the mentoring programme that builds community and family for those who have none. 

Sarah Sturmey, founder of Pure Insight said:

“Together, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most.”

Written by Sheila Manzano, Pure Insight Ambassador

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