Students saddle up to raise money for specialised bike

Seashell Trust student Georgia Parks Rigsby takes part in pedalathon

All the students at Seashell Trust wanted for Christmas was a new bike.


But it is not just any bike and these aren't just any students.


Many find it hard to get around independently, which is why bikes are so important to them. Not only can they travel around more easily but it great for keeping fit and improves balance and co-ordination.


Tricia Ramjutun, learner voice co-ordinator at Seashell Trust's Royal College Manchester, said: “This request began with a student Sara Hosseini, a wheelchair user, saying she would like to ride a bike and was sad she could not. She brought the request to a student council meeting. The council agreed a specialist bike was warranted to enable cycling for all students, particularly those with multi-sensory impairments.”


Seashell Trust physiotherapist Adele Stanhope said: “Like many of our students, Sara is unable to use her hands or feet to pedal a bike. She desperately wants to ride but is unable to access a bike.


“Cycling with their friends will see students expressing themselves and vocalising which improves their communication skills. Cycling helps confidence as well as teaching valuable lessons such as decision making, directions and road safety.”


A Draisin Plus bike will allow those students with limited mobility to participate in cycling, but such technical bikes are not cheap, costing well over £5,000.


Adele said: “Unfortunately we had to try to explain a bike she can use is far too expensive for us to buy. Undeterred, Sara led the student council to drive forward a fundraising scheme so she and others could experience the joy of cycling.”


Seashell Trust staff Maureen Wilkins, Sally Moores and Tom Harmston were sponsored to run the Conwy Castle half marathon. Students, including Georgia Parks Rigsby pictured above, saddled up for a pedalathon in the gym and the student council held a mini Christmas market to raise money.


Adele said: “For many of our students, participation in activities can be a difficult process and often they find themselves observing from the sidelines. Sara would like this to stop and let all students, regardless of disability, have the opportunity to enjoy cycling.


“Having access to a bike like this would be a dream to our students where they can finally ride alongside their peers and maybe even win a race!”


Seashell Trust stills needs over £4,000 to make Sara's dream come true.


If you can help, call Seashell Trust on 0161 610 0100 or email