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Tour de Andrew in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association

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2,500+ reviews
Posted on 18th May 2016.

Tour de Andrew

With a matter of days to go before the big ride from Budapest to Vienna in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), Finance Director Andrew shares his thoughts about getting involved in a charity event, the challenges of a grueling training regime, and how excited he is to cycle alongside some very inspiring individuals.

Andrew Wood - full res-no-date

“I was motivated to join the SIA bike ride after I took part in the London Bridges event sponsored by Helping Hands last September.  That was a very leisurely 8-mile walk on a glorious Sunday morning in central London, but without being too rude, was a bit of a stroll – mind you our Sales and Marketing Director ran it!

I picked up a leaflet for this Three Capital challenge (Budapest to Vienna via Bratislava along the river Danube) and, as I occasionally cycle from Bristol to Bath and back (about 40 miles), I thought ‘I ought to be able to do that’ – so I signed up in October.”

“I asked Tim, our CEO, if he’d double any sponsorship raised and he very kindly agreed, so I figured I ought to be able to be able to raise a few thousand pounds.

I’ve never done a sponsored event like this before, apart from maybe a walk, for the Cubs, as a kid. All in all, it just looked like quite a challenge, but achievable with training, and for an excellent charity with which Helping Hands has links. I have a personal motivation for raising money for the SIA, too: when I worked for a brain-injury rehabilitation business, I had lots of contact with spinal injuries and the impact of this life-altering condition.

The biggest challenges have been getting out in the cold and wet, back in January, when training started. It’s recommended you train 3-4 times per week… For 16 weeks!  Weekends have been okay and I’ve been going out both days.  The biggest thing I’ve learnt is the importance of liquids and nutrition when you’re out cycling for 5-6 hours. It’s all about liquids and the right carbs: a little but often!

I’m really looking forward to doing this event, with 34 other individuals, none of whom I know already. Some of them have spinal injuries and use adapted cycles powered with their hands and arms – I’ll be completely humbled by them.  Of course, the scenery, up the river Danube, will be stunning.

The personal goal is simply to complete the ride, over 3 days, in one piece, and be able to get back to work without being too tired.  I’m really pleased with the money raised – currently over £7,500 with the generous matching from Helping Hands.”

We’re incredibly proud of Andrew taking part in this meaningful challenge. The money raised from his hard work goes towards the Spinal Injuries Association, providing vital support to the 40,000 people in the UK with spinal injuries. To donate, visit Andrew’s Just Giving page by clicking here.

Are you looking for high-quality care and support at home?

Helping Hands is committed to enabling people with spinal injuries to lead active lifestyles, enjoy their independence, and rebuild their lives. Under the close management of our Clinical Team of registered nurses, Helping Hands Carers are ready to assist with bowel care, gastrostomy care, and other clinical needs; as well as hoisting, catheter and stoma management, personal care, and facilitating you to study, work, or access your community.

To find out more about the support we provide for spinal injuries click here.

Show your support for Andrew on Facebook Page or Twitter using our #CycleForSpinal hashtag.

Sally Tomkotowicz