The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge received a warm welcome from residents across East Cambridgeshire when it passed through this afternoon.
Residents of all ages lined the streets of Littleport and Ely to show their support for its incredible young riders, raising money for the BBC Children in Need appeal.
Each of the six young riders taking part in the challenge have overcome hardships in their lives and have benefited from Children in Need funded projects.
By the end of this year’s challenge, they will have travelled 470 miles from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders to London.
Today their journey started in Kings Lynn. They travelled through Denver, Southery and Downham Market before heading to Littleport.
Once they reached Ely, the crew cycled and drove along Lynn Road, cheered on by supporters at every stage. They headed past the Lamb Hotel into St Mary’s Street, passing Oliver Cromwell’s House before heading to Ely City Golf Club in Cambridge Road for a quick pizza lunch.
Students from Ely College were among the many people who turned out to support the team.
As the rickshaw passed through Ely, it was driven by Ebony, 18, from Bournemouth, who was diagnosed with Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT), a rare neurological condition that affects her movement and speech, at the age of three.
The condition is degenerative and there is no cure. Although she doesn’t let AT get in the way of living life to the fullest, the uncertainty of her future can sometimes leave her feeling isolated.
BBC Children in Need has funded the AT Society to help change that, giving Ebony and her family the chance to meet others who share their experiences, whilst learning more about the condition.
After their lunch break, Ebony swapped with 17-year-old Olivia from Edinburgh.
Olivia is profoundly deaf, but she received a cochlear implant at the age of two, and is an active part of both the hearing and deaf communities.
Throughout her life, she’s felt that people have either made assumptions about her intelligence because of her deafness, or not recognised that she sometimes has additional needs.
Attending BBC Children in Need funded Deaf Action has broadened her horizons and she now enjoys many of the same opportunities as her hearing peers.
Today, she helps to mentor deaf youngsters coping with issues of bullying and exclusion.
One Show presenter Matt Baker cycled alongside the rickshaw, offering support throughout the journey, while co-host Alex Jones has been cheering the team on live from the studio.
After leaving Ely, the rickshaw braved torrential rain along its route to Little Thetford, Stretham and Wilburton.
It’s due to travel to Cambridge – its last stop tonight being the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
Tomorrow the team are due to finish their challenge in London – in time for the BBC’s annual Children in Need broadcast.
Chris said: “I met the Rickshaw along Ten Mile Bank and gave them a pack of jelly babies. Strong head winds for them today.”
To donate £5 to the Children In Need appeal text TEAM to 70405. To donate £10 text TEAM to 70410. For more information click here.