Cyclists saddle up and take to Cotswold Hills to raise money for National Star

Three cyclists riding on a path towards the camera

Over a hundred cyclists have saddled up and taken to the Cotswold Hills to raise money for people with disabilities.

Among the 150 taking part in our Harvey 100 Star Cycle Challenge was TV doctor Dawn Harper. The 100km race is named after her son Harvey, who has cerebral palsy.

‘Today’s challenge have some proper hills but also lots of easy riding to give us time to reflect on the challenges National Star learners face on a daily basis,’ said Dawn, who lives in the Stroud valleys and presents Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

‘What we are doing today pales into insignificance against the challenges faced by those with disabilities.’

She was joined by Embarrassing Bodies co-presenter Dr Pixie McKenna.

‘It’s all about those of us who are able bodied doing our bit to help those who aren’t,’ said Pixie.

For Karen Gray, the event was a real challenge – she hadn’t been on a bicycle for 20 years. She took part with three friends.

‘After visiting National Star and hearing about what it does, I felt totally inspired,’ said Karen from Charlton Kings. ‘I started cycling in February and even bought a new bike. Now I have the bug and already looking for new challenges.’

Graeme Flory-Kish, owner of Abbey Design Associates in Quedgeley, took part with nine colleagues, friends and customers.

‘We’re a local company and National Star is a local charity,’ said Graeme. ‘It’s a lovely area to cycle in and it’s for a fantastic cause.’

We hope the event will raise £15,000 in support of people with physical and learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

‘National Star provides learners with the confidence, skills and education to take control of their lives and to make their own decisions, to do the things the rest of us simply take for granted,’ said Dr Dawn Harper.

A team of six from Blushes’ hair salons in Gloucester and Cheltenham took part in the challenge. One of them was co-owner Mark Blake who admitted it was the furthest he had ever cycled.

The route included steep climbs at Bisley, Sapperton and Caudle Green and takes in scenic areas around Kemble, Chedworth, Bibury and Cowley.

‘The cyclists have been amazing and there was a great atmosphere. The ethos of National Star is about what you can do and not what you can’t. The cyclists’ efforts will make a real difference to people with disabilities,’ said Kate Green, Director of Fundraising at National Star.

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