The One Show today announced the return of the Rickshaw Challenge for BBC Children in Need, but this time there’s one big difference.
Last year nearly 7 million people watched The One Show Presenter Matt Baker complete his gruelling rickshaw ride from Edinburgh to London. However, this year the challenge is turned on its head as six young people will take on the challenge to help raise vital funds for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
‘Team Rickshaw' will be made up of six youngsters, all of whom have been either supported by or still are supported by BBC Children in Need-funded projects. They will embark on the arduous journey on the morning of Friday 9 November from Llandudno and will attempt to complete the marathon 411-mile journey in eight days, arriving at BBC Television Centre for The One Show's BBC Children in Need special on Friday 16 November on BBC One.
Team Rickshaw will be accompanied by Matt Baker, who will cycle alongside the rickshaw offering vital mentoring advice and support after he successfully took on the Challenge in 2011, raising £1.9million for the charity. His support will be invaluable in helping the youngsters - all of whom have faced their own challenges - complete the monumental journey. Alex Jones will also join the team rallying support along the way.
The youngsters will take it in turns to pedal the rickshaw as it makes it way from Llandudno in North Wales to London across demanding terrain in potentially harsh weather conditions.
The team includes:
Darren (17) is from County Durham. Darren has had glaucoma since he was born and is registered as partially sighted. His mum, dad, brother and sister are all registered blind.
James (18) is from Kent. James has been a young carer for his mother, brother and sister since he was very young. When James isn’t at college he runs the household and looks after his family.
Jack (16) is from Essex. When Jack was 4 years old he had a kidney transplant. He is very fit now and takes part in lots of sport.
Jamila (18) is from London. Growing up, Jamila has seen young people around her turn to crime and gang culture. She chose not to go down this road and now works as a committed volunteer, working to help other young people.
Lauren (18) is from Stirling, Scotland. Lauren suffered a brain injury after being knocked down by a car when she was 11. She spent six months in hospital and was left with a broken hip, broken right leg and fractured left arm. She has re-learnt to breathe, walk, talk and eat.
Ciaran (17) is from Port Talbot in South Wales. Ciaran was born with cerebral palsy.
The One Show will go live to Dolgellau on Friday 9 November, the first stop in Team Rickshaw Challenge. The programme will be on the road to greet the team live on air every weeknight as they cross the finish line at each location. Every day viewers will be able to follow Team Rickshaw’s progress online at the BBC Children in Need website bbc.co.uk/pudsey and follow the team on Twitter via #TeamRickshaw, as they travel from Llandudno to London.
Matt Baker says: "The Rickshaw Challenge is one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever taken on. These youngsters are going to have their work cut out for them. That’s why the public needs to get behind Team Rickshaw and come out and cheer them on; I know from the challenge last year what a difference the public’s support can make. We need to get behind them as they strive to raise as much money as possible for BBC Children in Need."
Alex Jones, who will be accompanying Team Rickshaw, said: “I’ve met all the team. They are a really inspiring bunch. It will be a real honour for Matt and me to be with them on their journey.”
David Ramsden, BBC Children in Need Chief Executive, added: "This is a huge challenge for these young people to be taking on, it’s even more incredible when you consider the personal challenges that they have faced. Pedalling over 400 miles in eight days through the November weather will be an amazing achievement. They are going to raise lots of money for other children and young people in the UK who are facing their own difficulties. We hope everyone across the UK gets behind Team Rickshaw.”
To Donate £5, text "TEAM' to 70705. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message, £5 will go to BBC Children in Need. Go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey for full terms and conditions. You must be over 16 and ask the bill payer's permission.
Notes to editors
Day 1 - Llandudno to Dolgellau - 51.56 miles
Day 2 - Dolgellau to Lampeter - 58.68 miles
Day 3 - Lampeter to Swansea - 53.91 miles
Day 4 - Swansea to Cardiff - 51.59 miles
Day 5 - Cardiff to Bath - 54.76 miles
Day 6 - Bath to Salisbury - 50.81 miles
Day 7 - Salisbury to Reading - 51.55 miles
Day 8 - Reading to White City - 38.43 miles
For further information about BBC Children in Need, please visit bbc.co.uk/pudsey
BBC Children in Need supports projects working with disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK. They currently support around 2,600 projects that are working with children facing a range of disadvantages - for example, poverty and deprivation, disabled young people and children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect.
The BBC Children in Need Appeal Show is on Friday 16 November 2012.