As foretold in my last message, here is the info on my February 2021 Scope Chairman’s Lockdown Legends challenge, my daunting 407-mile fundraising bike ride from the Scottish border to Dover.
I would love you to support Scope by supporting me. Your legendary fundraising will really help Scope be there for disabled people and their families during this very difficult time.
Over 14 million people in the UK are disabled – one in five people at your workplace, members of your wider family, neighbours in your street. Disabled people are amazing. They are doctors and epidemiologists, nurses and social workers, mothers and fathers and children, artists and musicians like me. But for many reasons, we have been amongst the hardest hit by Coronavirus. Millions have been shielding, facing a year of isolation.
Shockingly, almost two-thirds of all those who have died from Coronavirus were disabled people. I had to read that fact from the office for National Statistics several times. That’s over 1,000 disabled people dying every day on the worst of days. This is what has got me on my bike.
The pandemic has been devastating for Scope. The charity has seen our shops close, fundraising events cancelled and marathons postponed. During lockdown, Scope’s income has fallen by around £1.2 million a month. At the same time, Scope’s services are seeing unprecedented demand, our helpline is providing a vital listening and supportive ear, and our online community is keeping people connected and safe through lockdown. Scope’s vital support is needed now more than ever.
I am 70 this year, and last October I had major surgery involving organ removal after serious illness. I then had an accident and am still undergoing therapy to regain mobility and strength. My daunting fundraising challenge this February is to virtually ride from the most northern Scope shop in Hexham (eight miles from the Scottish border) down to the Scope shop on the south coast in Dover, Kent – just over 650 virtual kilometres (407 virtual miles) – in a month. As you know I’m totally blind, plus I’m isolating, so I’m doing this on a Schwinn full body exercise bike at home! Even more impetuously, I’ve announced I will wear a chairman’s shirt and tie for the whole ride. A different tie every day. At the end I’ll donate them to Scope as auction items on Ebay.
I am aiming to raise at least £30,000 myself for Scope. Would you support me and my disabled brothers and sisters by sponsoring the ride via JustGiving? Alternatively, you and your friends or colleagues can join me in becoming a Scope Lockdown Legend and set your own fundraising challenge.
Thank you, thank you, and please please pass this note on.