‘Pedal for your playground’ fundraiser covers virtual miles to John O’Groats

16 December 2020

Written by: Lambeth Council

Children and young people - Focus on Brixton - Voluntary and community sector

One hundred and twenty Lambeth  cyclists raised £25,000 in 24 hours for Slade Gardens Adventure Playground.

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‘Pedal for your playground’ fundraiser covers virtual miles to John O’Groats

Slade Gardens Adventure Playground had planned a big 21st birthday fundraising weekend for November.  The community-run charity aims to fund another full-time employee so that the space can open more and provide support to more local children and young people.  It is desperately needed.

Innovation in lockdown

Dr Morris women's champion Slade Gardens cyclist fundraiser

Dr Morris, women’s champion Slade Gardens cyclist fundraiser

Like so many others, Slade’s fundraiser had to be cancelled.  The second lockdown made creative thinking a necessity:  what could they do that got the whole community together, was accessible to everyone, but offered a challenge (and not just the challenge of not being cancelled by Covid)?

Keeping your distance over the miles

The answer was ‘Pedal for your Playground’. The target set was cycling 678 miles in 24 hours – the distance from Slade Gardens Adventure Playground to John O’Groats. People took it in turns, pedalling non-stop throughout the day and night on static bikes spaced far apart out on the football pitch. People booked in to take their recommended hour of daily exercise and came to ride like the wind (or a light breeze in some cases). Main logistical challenges were to stagger 120 cyclists’ arrival for their hour’s exercise and get the bikes cleaned before each next rider took over.

Going the extra miles

Finishing cyclist Angus - Slade Gardens charity fundraiser

Angus cycled the final hour of the Slade Gardens charity fundraiser

Cycling all day and night almost doubled the target – over 1,151 miles covered. Sponsored riders raised a staggering £24,000. A huge range of people took part – everyone from the Vicar to local teens and from three-year old to 80-year old cyclists.

Winners and finishers

Local doctors Steve and Rachael Morris Jones separately clocked up top miles in the men’s and  women’s categories, becoming overall event champions. Both work in local hosptals and had recovered from Covid-19.  The final stretch was cycled by Angus who was diagnosed last year with leukaemia and whose treatment will take another two years. He took up the challenge and took us down the home straight – making for an emotional finish!

More information

You can still donate to Slade Gardens Adventure Playground via their fundraiser page.