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The Rickshaw Challenge 2018 Goes Under the Sea to Ashford!

The Rickshaw Challenge 2018 Goes Under the Sea to Ashford!

Media release

29 October 2018

BBC Children in Need returns next month, with it comes the juggernaut that is The One Show's ‘Rickshaw Challenge'. The Rickshaw Challenge 2018 was announced live during The One Show with a new route, a new rickshaw and a new team.

In a first for the annual Challenge, which is now in its eighth year, the route will start in France. A team of six young people, all of whom have been supported by BBC Children in Need funded projects, will be joined by The One Show's Matt Baker on the eight-day challenge.

The Challenge begins on Friday 9 November in Calais, where the team will pedal 31 miles through the service tunnel of the Channel Tunnel - a route only travelled previously by the likes of professional cyclists. Once through the tunnel, the team will head north and arrive in Ashford for their first stop of the journey, where they'll be welcomed by crowds of well-wishers located by the bandstand in Ashford town centre.

With Pudsey bear due in Ashford town centre from around 6pm, families will have plenty of time to visit for a quick selfie before cheering on the riders as they arrive at the bandstand between 7pm and 7.30pm. The One Show will be broadcasting live at various intervals, so why not do your bit for charity, bring your donations along and you might get to appear on TV too!

After a well-earned rest, the team will head off from Ashford on Saturday morning, making their way through England and Wales and finishing in Salford on Friday 16 November, during the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.

Viewers will be able to follow Team Rickshaw's progress on the show each day, but the full route - including a real-time update of the rickshaw's progress - is also available at

Cllr Graham Galpin, portfolio holder for the town centre, said: "We're extremely honoured that Ashford has been chosen to host the first stop of the BBC One Show's Rickshaw Challenge 2018 on Friday 9 November. Children in Need is a great charity and we're delighted that the residents of Ashford have the opportunity to come out and support such a great cause.

"It will be wonderful to showcase to BBC viewers what a great community Ashford is and with your support on the night we can do this."


Notes to Editors

Photos can be found here:

Route summary:

Day 1: Calais to Folkestone to Ashford

Day 2: Ashford to Lingfield

Day 3: Lingfield to Hook

Day 4: Hook to Royal Wootton Bassett

Day 5: Royal Wootton Bassett to Malvern

Day 6: Malvern to Ironbridge

Day 7: Ironbridge to Chester

Day 8: Chester to Salford Quays

About The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge

Since 2011, The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge has raised over £21 million for BBC Children in Need, with every penny going on to make a difference to the lives of children and young people across the UK who need it most.

This year the public are being asked to take on their own cycling challenge to raise money and ‘Ride with Team Rickshaw' with support from cycling app Strava. The public can do their own cycling challenge by logging their miles through the app, and Strava will automatically add their distance to the collective total. From 10th October there is also the chance to win a bike with Strava by entering the ‘Ride 50 Miles for BBC Children in Need' challenge. Members of the public also have the option to log their miles manually; just check out the FAQs on the BBC Children in Need website to sign up and for guidance on using Strava.

To support the Rickshaw Challenge, you can donate £5, £10 or £20 by text. To donate £5 text the word TEAM to 70405. To donate £10 text TEAM to 70410. To donate £20 text the word TEAM to 70420. Texts will cost your donation plus your standard network message charge. All of your donation will go to BBC Children in Need. You must be 16 or over and please ask for the bill payer's permission. For more information and full terms and conditions go to The Text to donate Service will close at 23:59 on the 31st December 2018.

About BBC Children in Need

BBC Children in Need's vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. The charity will realise this vision by supporting, promoting and publicising work that addresses the challenges that children and young people face and work that builds their skills and resilience.

BBC Children in Need is currently supporting over 2,700 projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma.

Further information on BBC Children in Need can be found at as well as via their social media channels:


The team taking on the challenge this year:

Abby (16) from London. At the age of 12, Abby was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She endured six rounds of chemotherapy and in January 2015 Abby was told that the cancer was in remission. Unfortunately, two weeks later Abby's cancer aggressively returned, and she was told that it had spread into a bone in her back and progressed to Stage 4. With limited options left, Abby took part in a medical trial which included stem cell therapy, which was successful, and she went into remission in October 2015. Abby has been supported by Teens Unite. The project runs motivational workshops for young people following a cancer diagnosis. For Abby, it gave her a space to spend time with other youngsters going through similar experiences and helped rebuild her confidence.

Harry (17) from Plymouth. When Harry was one years old he was diagnosed with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, and Worster-Drought Syndrome which affects his facial muscles. Over the years he has had numerous operations to enable him to use his legs more easily. Harry can find speaking difficult so to communicate he uses a combination of speech, a tablet app and sign language to make sure he is understood. Harry is very determined and is looking forward to taking part in the Rickshaw Challenge and showing the world that he can do anything. He's been supported by Friends and Families of Special Children which run activity sessions and provides support to disabled children and their families.

Kayla (16) from Derry/Londonderry. Kayla always felt very loved when she was growing up, but her mother struggled to look after her as she suffered from alcoholism. Kayla went to live with her grandfather at the age of seven but was always close to her mother. In January 2017, Kayla's mum died from an alcohol related condition and when she passed away Kayla struggled to process what had happened. Kayla's dad is also registered disabled after contracting a rare flesh-eating bug and she helps care for him. Kayla has been supported by Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, a healthy living centre which gives young people a safe space, improves their wellbeing and empowers them to reach their potential. For Kayla the project has been a lifeline to her and she credits them for helping her deal with her grief.

Kieran (18) from South Wales. Kieran grew up as a young carer for his mum and his younger siblings. Eventually Kieran became unable to cope. He struggled to control his feelings and acted up at school. By the age of 13 things had become so difficult that Kieran was placed in foster care and gradually he began to change his life. He started attending The Hwb Torfaen, a project that supports NEET young people to engage them with education, develop their skills and encourage volunteering. Kieran is now in a positive place; he's close to his family and training to become an electrician.

Maisie (16) from Southampton. Maisie was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. At age two she was diagnosed with spinal compression which meant that a bone was squashing her spinal cord and made movement difficult for her. Maisie had to undergo two operations to remove the bone, and at age 13, also had to have operations to straighten her leg. Maisie was introduced to Dwarf Sports Association when she was four years old and she credits the organisation for having such a positive influence on her life. Maisie enjoys competing in swimming, badminton and boccia. She's determined not to let her disability stop her and is looking forward to the Rickshaw Challenge.

Phoebe (19) from Leicester. Phoebe developed a stammer around the age of eight. Phoebe was a very vibrant, chatty and happy child but this began to change as the stammer took hold. By the time Phoebe was in secondary school the stammer had reached its worst and even the smallest speaking tasks would fill Phoebe with dread. She felt like she couldn't express herself and her true personality was being hidden. She felt alone, isolated and held back by her speech impediment. Phoebe has been supported by Action for Stammering Children and is now part of their advisory Youth Panel. It enables young people with a stammer to gain confidence when communicating and build a peer support network. Phoebe is now studying Medicine at university.

The new rickshaw

This year a new rickshaw has been built by a team of engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. Experts at McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies have created the next generation rickshaw from the ground up. With their help the rickshaw is now even more accessible to the young people taking on the eight-day challenge.

The design of the new McLaren Rickshaw means that this rickshaw is more accessible than the last, but still a challenge for those riding it. A new drivetrain has been installed to improve its reliability, as well as new braking mounts. Additionally, an inter-changeable seat post has been installed which can be easily changed along the route to suit whoever is riding the rickshaw.

For more information, contact:

Darren Laws
Public relations issued on behalf of Ashford Borough Council
01634 671167