Man raises £1,200 to fund disability awareness day through adapted cycle ride

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 November 2020

Neal Crowley on his cycle challenge. Picture: West Ham United Foundation

Neal Crowley on his cycle challenge. Picture: West Ham United Foundation

West Ham United Foundation

A man has raised more than £1,200 after cycling from Stratford to Barking on an adapted bike.

Neal Crowley, who has cerebral palsy, completed the 8.5 mile challenge in less than four hours.

Neal, from Dagenham, is part of the Bikeworks all ability club based in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and staff from the organisation were among those to support him on the ride.

He said: “It was such an amazing event and a terrific ride.

“I would like to thank Bikeworks for facilitating the event and without them I don’t think it could have happened.

“Thank you to West Ham United Foundation who coordinated a pit stop for us, it was much needed.”

Neal was greeted at the finish line of Barking town hall by the mayor of Barking and Dagenham, Cllr Peter Chand, on Friday, October 30.

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The money raised will be used fund celebration activities for the International Day of Disabled People (IDDP) taking place on Thursday, December 3.

Each year, an event is held in Barking and Dagenham to bring families, service users, service and volunteers together to celebrate the lives of disabled people through video, performance, activities, sports and exhibits.

Neal has been chairman of the borough’s branch of IDDP since 2013 and the day after completing his cycle challenge, a community event was held to help raise even more money.

This saw 18 people supported by the Progress Project - a charity which works with disabled young people - gather in Dagenham’s Mayesbrook Park for socially distanced session using adapted cycles.

Nikki Fairbairn, sports participation officer at Progress Project said: “The afternoon was a huge success despite a few showers!

“The young people had lots of fun and it was so lovely to see so many happy faces.

“We hope to work with Vandome Cycles, who provided the bikes, and run a regular adapted cycle session very soon.”

Neal added: ”The two days were a huge success. If I am honest, I thought in the back of my mind it would not go ahead due to Covid.

“In the current times cycling is good for mental health. I was amazed at the opportunity we could deliver for young people.”

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