We are delighted to announce that OTW camper, Jim, will be joining a team of five other young people for the 2020 Rickshaw Challenge for BBC Children in Need in 2020.
News of Jim’s participation was announced live on The One Show today, on Thursday 15th October.
Starting on Friday 6th November, Jim will represent Over The Wall taking part in the challenge on its tenth year, alongside his teammates and The One Show’s Matt Baker.
This year will see the annual challenge tell the powerful stories of its heroic young riders, as it always has, but with a slightly different format due to Covid-19 restrictions. The team plan to ride the equivalent of Edinburgh to London – 332 miles in a straight line – but from within the iconic grounds of ‘Glorious’ Goodwood.
Jim and the team will have to cover a variety of terrains to reach their target each day, in time for a live broadcast into The One Show each evening at 7pm.
Jim, now 16, is from New Mills, Derbyshire and has been an ambassador for Over The Wall since he attended an Anthony Nolan Family Camp back in 2019.
When Jim was five years old, he was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease which doctors could not find effective treatment for. The disease had a huge impact on Jim’s childhood and caused him great pain as he suffered with ulcers and sores across his body. However, the illness had lasted ten years and had had a huge impact on his life. Jim had never attended a full year at school, and he felt isolated and under confident. During one of his hospital visits, Jim was introduced to Over The Wall (Click here to read about Jim’s journey and his experience of OTW camp).
Jim said: “I am really looking forward to taking on the Rickshaw Challenge. Doing something like this is something that I never thought would have been possible just a few years ago when I was really unwell. Attending camp with Over The Wall has really helped to build my confidence and I can’t wait to prove to myself I can do this challenge and share my story with others.”
Over The Wall currently receives a three-year grant of £75,056 from BBC Children in Need to deliver residential camps for children and young people from across the UK who have serious life-limiting illnesses.
This year, following camp cancellations due to the outbreak of Covid-19, BBC Children in Need also provided funds to help Over The Wall create an interactive, virtual version of camp called Camp in the Cloud which was designed specifically for the children who were scheduled to attend in 2020. The aim was to bring the joy and magic of the physical camps into each families’ home.
As part of the tenth anniversary of the Rickshaw Challenge and its legacy, Matt Baker will revisit riders and update The One Show viewers on their stories. Since the first Challenge in 2011, Matt has been accompanied by 45 young people and clocked up 4,315 miles travelling the length and breadth of the UK whilst sharing their remarkable stories with the Great British public. The Rickshaw Challenge has so far raised £35,373,713 for BBC Children in Need.
Matt Baker, who has been taking on this Challenge since 2011, said: “In a year that has been tough for everyone, I am delighted that we can bring the Rickshaw Challenge back for the tenth year. In the spirit of doing what we can, we’re doing our best to make it as safe as possible for everybody involved and that includes our supporters that would usually come out to see us. So this year instead of coming out on the streets we’re asking people to support us from the comfort of their own homes by tuning in to The One Show each evening.”
Kevin Mathieson, OTW’s CEO said: “We are so pleased that Jim has been selected and are incredibly proud and grateful that he is representing Over The Wall. We hope all of our supporters, volunteers, staff and friends of Over The Wall, get behind Jim and the Rickshaw team, giving them their full support throughout the challenge.”
Unlike in previous years, the challenge won’t be taking a public route and will be closed to the public, to protect the participants and the public’s safety due to Covid-19. The One Show viewers will be able to follow Team Rickshaw’s progress on the show each day, but for real time updates on how the team are getting on, please follow OTW’s social media platforms.