A '˜steep' wheelchair challenge

A team of workers who support families in and around Boston are set to help a teen scale Mount Snowdon in his wheelchair for good causes.

Sunday, 12th June 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 12:47 pm

The intrepid foursome from Lincolnshire County Council’s Boston-based Early Help Team have signed themselves up for the Snowdon Shove in September.

It will see a team of between 10 and 15 people – including one person in a wheelchair – attempting to trek up and down Wales’ highest mountain in a day.

Sam Elliff, 29, from Sleaford, Michaela Housley, 29, from Skegness, Annabel Abbott, 33, from Boston, and Cheryl Pawson, 36, from Spilsby, will be assisting Ryan Smith, 19, from Chapel St Leonards, in the epic round trip.

Ryan suffered severe brain injuries in a cycling accident when not wearing a helmet in 2013.

He and his family set up the Ryan Smith Foundation to raise money to assist those with brain injuries and their families and promote cycle helmet safety awareness.

The ex-Skegness Grammar School pupil will be one of two people who use a wheelchair taking on the climb on the day.

The other will be Amanda Davidson, from Lincoln, who works with Ryan’s dad, Mark, for the East Midlands Ambulance Service and approached Mark with the idea.

Proceeds from the event are to be split between The Ryan Smith Foundation and the Support Dogs charity.

Of the challenge, Mark, 46, said: “I was a tad apprehensive, but we are firm believers that anything is possible.”

Sam, Michaela, Annabel, and Cheryl were inspired to sign up for the challenge after Ryan delivered a presentation to young people in Boston as part of a keep safe day.

Sam said Ryan’s presentation left the young people ‘in awe’ and said taking part in the fundraiser was a chance to thank the foundation for its work.

The climb covers about eight miles of mixed terrain and is likely to take between three to eight hours to complete the round trip.

Proceeds will be split between: The Ryan Smith Foundation, which assists those with brain injuries and their families, promotes cycle helmet safety awareness in schools, and petitions to make cycle helmets compulsory; and Support Dogs, a national charity dedicated to increasing the independence and quality of life for children and adults affected by autism, epilepsy and disability through the training of specialist assistance dogs

The event takes place on September 2. To donate to the Boston team, go online at tinyurl.com/jb3tqlm.