A man from Sheffield is gearing up to take on a 20 mile bike ride to raise funds for the learning disability service where his twin brother is supported.
James O’Connell, 41, is set to take on the cycling challenge on 6 July, when he’ll face a trek around his hometown to raise money for Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities. James’s brother William lives at an Hft service and has been supported by the charity for 25 years. Inspiration for James’s ‘Tour de Sheffield’ trek struck earlier this year, when he decided to use his passion for cycling to support a cause that would benefit his twin. He’s now putting his fitness to the test by taking on an epic challenge to raise funds for a new sensory gazebo at William’s service.
James’s challenge will kick off at 8.30am and will see him spending at least three hours on his bike, with his route taking him on a scenic trail through the city and its parks, as well as including a visit to William’s Hft service. To prepare for the challenge ahead, James has been hard at work training, taking part in regular bike rides and ensuring his diet stays healthy.
All funds raised by James will go towards a gazebo at the service where his brother lives. The new space aims to provide an outdoor space where people supported at the service can spend time together and welcome visitors in line with Government restrictions.
‘I’m taking on this challenge to raise awareness of people with learning disabilities and to help provide some funds for my twin brother and his friends so they can purchase a heated sensory gazebo. The last year has shown how important keeping in touch and socialising is for everyone’s wellbeing. I hope that the money I raise will ensure we’re able to continue doing this whatever the weather.”
Emma Macdonald, Sports and Challenge Events Fundraising Manager, said:
“We’re delighted to see James taking on this very special challenge for his twin brother. Following a very difficult year, it would be fantastic to have the funds for a brand new space for socialising and entertaining, which William and his friends could enjoy alongside their loved ones. As James travels around his hometown, we’ll be cheering him on every step of the way.”
To donate to James’s challenge, visit his fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/j-o-connellhft
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk
Location: Hft Sheffield & Derbyshire