My name is Steve and I am going to be taking part in the Dirty Reiver 130km off road cycling challenge on 21st April 2018. The Dirty Reiver challenge is based on the Gravel Grinder format found predominantly in the mid-west of America. I enjoy cycling however this is by far the biggest challenge I have ever attempted. I know it is going to be incredibly hard, but I am doing it for a worthy cause that is very important to my family. I am taking on this cycling challenge to raise money for the Belvidere Centre, a local special needs play-scheme that my son, George, attends.
The Belvidere Centre was founded in 1971 as a place for children and young adults with additional needs to socialise. The centre has evolved since then and now strives for social inclusion for everyone and welcome people of ALL abilities. The Belvidere Centre is no longer supported by the council so rely solely on fundraising, donations and other independent income to stay open. It runs a youth club three evenings a week for those aged 13-25. During the school holidays, they run a play-scheme for school aged children 14 and under, which is what my son, George, attends. During the summer holidays the play-scheme is subsidised by Wirral Play Council, during other breaks it is run by the staff independently.
Sadly, due to funding, each year the Belvidere Centre never knows if it will be able to run the holiday club. This play-scheme is incredibly important to us and other families who have children with additional needs. As George is autistic he is restricted to clubs he can attend during the holidays due to his complex special needs and the fact he requires 1:1 support. Not only does George absolutely love going to the Belvidere Centre but it allows my wife and I to keep working. If the Belvidere Centre didn’t run it’s play-scheme during the holidays, there is literally no other holiday club in our area George could attend due to his special needs, therefore one of us would have to give up our job. The main reason we work so hard is to make sure George has the best future we can provide him with. It also allows other parents that don’t necessarily work/work full time, to have a well needed break whilst their child is in safe hands, having fun and mixing with other children.
The Belvidere Centre is a huge part of ours and many other families lives which is why I am going to try and raise £2000 to make sure the Play-scheme can continue to run for this year.
I don’t like asking for money however any donation, no matter how small, is gratefully received and truly means a lot to us.