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I want to ride my bicycle

At All We Can, there aren’t many things we enjoy hearing about more than the extraordinary lengths that our supporters go to in order to support people living in some of the world’s poorest communities. That is why we were so touched to learn of the remarkable accomplishment of two members of Ashby Wesley Methodist Church (one of our wonderful Partner Churches) – Bob Sheard and Gareth Braisdell. Together, they completed a sponsored bike ride in which they covered around 80 miles, stopping by all the chapels in the Epworth and Scunthorpe Circuit and raising more than £800 in the process. Below, in his own words, Bob explains a little more about what inspired this endeavour:

“The idea came to me as I sat and listened to an All We Can talk at Ashby Wesley Methodist Church. I was moved by what I heard about families in Zimbabwe. I am a retired primary school teacher and head teacher, with a passion for children’s ministry in local schools. I believe each child is a unique, unrepeatable, miracle with the potential to make a difference in the world. Every child deserves the opportunity to get the best start that we can give them. If our support means that more children in Zimbabwe can access education, praise God!

I enjoy keeping fit and one way to do this is through my love of cycling both on the road and off-road. The furthest I had ever ridden was 50 miles on a family bike ride exploring our family history in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Our Circuit, the Epworth and Scunthorpe Circuit, is divided by the River Trent. Great efforts are being made to break down barriers between the east and west. I thought that visiting each of the 22 chapels on either side of the Trent would be a little step in the unification process. The total distance around the circuit is almost 80 miles which, considering my previous best, represented a challenge.

Our Minister, Rev Paul Braisdell, very kindly volunteered his son Gareth to accompany me. He was a great Christian companion. We completed the ride on Saturday 27th January 2018 – the following weekend saw North Lincolnshire covered in snow, so we were greatly blessed to avoid this! We left Ashby Wesley at 7:50 am and arrived back at 4:55 pm. It was a gorgeous, cold but dry winter’s day with a mischievous easterly wind that picked up in the afternoon. Together we ticked off the chapels over nine hours, spending a total of six hours and ten minutes in the saddle. Interestingly I was the only one who had any spills which were due to the fact that I forgot on three occasions to release my feet from my pedal cleats. It’s a little embarrassing to collapse onto the road or verge because you can’t put your foot down!

The welcome from a number of the small chapels that we visited was heart-warming. Sadly, we had to turn down some offers of tea simply because on a very cold day, one’s bladder tends not to cope too well.”

We are so grateful for this outstanding effort, and want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who helped make this event such a success. If you’re inspired by Bob and Gareth’s story, and are thinking about maybe doing some fundraising of your own, then we would love to hear from you – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on info@allwecan.org.uk or 0207 467 5132.

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