A person supported by Hft in Gloucestershire is taking on the challenge of a lifetime as she cycles 200 miles to raise funds in memory of her friend David and in support of Hft’s Pandemic Appeal.

Kathy is supported at an Hft service in Kings Stanley near Stroud where she lives with six other people, but has been staying with her parents nearby during the coronavirus outbreak to limit her risk of infection. The 39 year old has a specially made tricycle that she is using to explore the local area and enjoy her daily exercise. With 100 miles already under her belt, Kathy willingly took on the challenge of another 100 miles when she heard that one of her friends, David, had sadly passed away.

David died peacefully in April at the age of 72. As an early resident of Frocester Manor, Hft’s first residential service, and having been supported by Hft for nearly six decades, he was considered one of the charity’s founders. After Frocester Manor closed, David continued to be supported locally.

After hearing about her friend’s passing, Kathy put her cycling efforts towards a good cause in honour of David and the charity which has supported the pair over the years. Setting an ambitious challenge to raise £5,000 towards Hft’s pandemic appeal, Kathy immediately got on her trike!

Since then, Kathy has been working steadily towards her goal, which has seen her travel on country lanes around the rural area of the Wye Valley. Despite having a paralysed left side which makes movement difficult, Kathy’s tricycle gives her the freedom to cycle for over an hour a day, covering between two and three miles per trip. Cheering her on every step of the way are Kathy’s parents, who join her in her challenge, and friends and support workers at her service, who are in touch daily via video calls with words of encouragement.

Kathy said:

“I am doing this in memory of my dear friend David who sadly died recently. David was very kind to me and he was my friend. I will miss him very much. He was also cared for by Hft. The staff at my service are very kind and caring and they look after me very well.”

Emma Macdonald, Sports and Challenge Events Manager at Hft, said:

“We couldn’t be prouder of Kathy, who has taken on a huge challenge in aid of Hft that pays tribute to her dear friend. She’s now well on her way in reaching her goal and continues to inspire us all with the commitment and dedication she’s shown.

“All funds raised by Kathy will go towards our Pandemic Appeal, which ensures staff have access to vital supplies and services as they work tirelessly to provide support during these unprecedented times. It’s more important than ever to ensure people with learning disabilities are protected and we’re so grateful for Kathy’s contribution to this.”

To donate to Kathy’s challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kathy-gooding