Care home resident with cerebral palsy takes on 412 mile challenge

63 year-old Rhoda Gourlay, who has cerebral palsy and is registered blind, has challenged herself to cycle the total distance from Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace (412 miles) to raise money for a charity helping older people and other adults with a disability.

Rhoda will complete the gruelling journey on a cycling machine at Drummond Grange Care Home in Lasswade, where she lives.  

She will officially start the cycle on 14th March and will continue to cycle a bit each day until she reaches her 412 mile target.

The cycle will raise money for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, a charity that helps older people and other adults with a disability across England, Scotland and Wales by offering grants of up to £5,000.

This is a very personal challenge for Rhoda and she has been keeping a diary about her experience.

She says: “My first few days [of training] were quite strange. I rely on voices and touch to help me around the home and I was taken out of my familiar surroundings and comfort zone when I started this challenge.”

Yet despite the physical and emotional trials involved, this fundraising challenge is bringing Rhoda great pleasure. She says: “Having a purpose in my life again helps me to stay calm and relaxed. It brings me immense joy to be able to cycle again.”

Eleanor Wilson, General Manager at Drummond Grange Care Home said: “What Rhoda is setting out to achieve is amazing and she’s a real inspiration to all of us. She’s always looking for ways to help raise money for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, which is why she’s the home’s ‘Foundation Champion’, but this is without a doubt her biggest challenge yet! Everyone at the home is very excited about cheering her on when she starts her journey on 14th March.”

Rhoda hopes to complete her 412 mile cycle by summer 2016.

You can view Rhoda's fundraising page here: