A Kent cyclist is gearing up to take on Ride London for the fifth consecutive year to raise money for Hft, a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities.
Gareth Devey, 36, from Dover will be among the thousands of other cyclists taking on the 100 mile ride which follows the 2012 Olympic road route.
The depot manager has raised more than £1,600 to date from taking part in this event. This year he hopes to raise a further £500 for Hft which aims to support people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.
Locally the charity offers person-centred services in Kent ranging from residential care to supported living at home – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities in a variety of other ways, from finding meaningful employment, to leading an active social life and making their voices heard, so they can live with greater levels of independence and personal fulfillment.
Gareth said: “Five years ago I was disappointed to not get a place in the inaugural Ride London event. After posting my dismay on social media a friend of mine got in contact and said she knew someone that worked for a fantastic charity in the local area which was still offering places in the event. At that time I wasn’t aware of Hft or its work. But after doing some research and meeting with one of the many families supported by Hft, I have been amazed by the vital work this charity does and the impact it makes on the lives of adults with learning disabilities. It was an incredible experience for me to see how the money I raised from what I do for fun can be used to really make a difference.”
This is the fifth year Hft has entered a team in Ride London and this year the charity hopes to recruit 96 cyclists with the aim of raising £24,000.
Charlotte Rue, Hft’s Sporting and Challenge Events Manager, said there is still time for keen cyclists to sign up to the event.
She said: “People with learning disabilities face obstacles that are hard to imagine. We offer people the kind of help, support and encouragement that gives them the chance to find more enjoyment, comfort and satisfaction in life. It can range from finding someone a job, to helping them make friends or to adapting their home so they can enjoy new levels of independence.
“We fundraise so the people we support can live life on their own terms. We are thrilled that Gareth has chosen to take part in Ride London once again for Hft. We would love to hear from anyone who may be interested in taking part in the event, or who may have even secured their own place but are still looking for a cause to support, to join team Hft.”
Hft cyclists will receive an exclusive Team Hft Welcome pack, a training t-shirt, exclusive cycling jersey as well as telephone and email support. In return for an Hft cycling place, participants are asked to pay a non-refundable registration fee of £25 and pledge to raise a minimum of £350 for the charity.