Pudsey Bear is pedalling his own special bike to support a Wirral teenager who is taking part in The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge to raise money for BBC Children in Need. Along with staff and children attending Stick ‘n’ Step’s centres in Wallasey and Runcorn, Pudsey is taking his turn on a static bike to match 17 year old Luke Percy mile for mile while he is pedalling the 289 mile Salford to Glasgow leg of the Rickshaw Challenge.
Luke is one of the six strong team pedalling a rickshaw on a 500 mile journey from The One Show studio in London to the River Clyde in Glasgow. Luke, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been attending conductive education classes at local charity Stick ‘n’ Step in Wallasey since the age of two. Stick ‘n’ Step has benefitted from BBC Children in Need funding for nine years, which has helped the charity to support young people who have cerebral palsy with conductive education sessions to help them develop their mobility and independence and boost their self-confidence.
Starting the challenge on Thursday 9 November, the team of riders is working its way across the UK in a bid to cross the finish line on Friday 17 November, during BBC Children in Need’s 2017 Appeal Show. Come rain or shine, the teenagers have to complete an average of over 50 miles per day.
Luke currently attends 6th Form college at Caldy where he is studying for his French, German and History ‘A’ Levels. He loves watching sport and is a big Liverpool FC football fan but rather than continue his studies locally, he is hoping to go to either Newcastle or Cardiff University.
Speaking of his involvement in this year’s challenge Luke said: “I play wheelchair basketball, goalie with my brother, and have even been skiing on holiday – this is possible thanks to my time with Stick ‘n’ Step. I want to make sure that other children in my position have the same opportunities, and raising money for BBC Children in Need can help ensure that. My hope is that everyone watching the Rickshaw Challenge and seeing my story will see what great things are possible when they give generously!”
Amy Couture, Chief Executive at Stick ‘n’ Step said: “Our staff and children wanted to support Luke in every way we could. The cycling challenge at our centres is the perfect way for us to demonstrate our support and raise awareness of what Luke and the other riders are taking on. Luke has been coming to Stick ‘n’ Step for 15 years and his confidence and ability has come on so much. We are very proud of him and the way he is rising to meet yet another challenge.”