We’re well and truly in the middle of Spring now, and over the last couple of weeks we have been blessed with some fantastic weather. I don’t know about you, but that always motivates me to get outside and get active! This time of year also marks the point when Reach Learning Disability launches one of their largest annual fundraising events – the sponsored bike ride Reach Off Road.

We know how valuable fundraising can be, both in terms of raising awareness and funds for your services, and we asked Maryam Qaiser, Communications and Fundraising Grants Officer at Reach to tell us more about the benefit for their charity. – Sian Anderson

 Cyclists across Nottinghamshire gear up for Reach Off Road

Reach Learning Disability is a charity providing the opportunity for people with learning disabilities to access courses, social activities and projects at our bases in Newark, Southwell, Mansfield and our horticultural social enterprise in Southwell, called Flower Pod. We also have a care support company, Reach Learning Disability Care, that provides domiciliary care to adults with learning disabilities on a one to one basis.

As part of our work we raise vital funds through our ‘charity challenge’ fundraising, which enables us to support more than 200 adults with learning disabilities every week to take part in social activities and courses to help them get the life they want in their own communities. We run over 40 weekly courses including cookery, drama, gardening, photography, dance and sports. The courses, which are run by trained staff, allow people who access services to gain new skills, build their confidence and self-esteem in a safe environment.

One of our biggest fundraising events in the calendar is ‘Reach Off Road’, our annual sponsored bike ride which is taking place on 3 June. At this fun-filled day, cyclists can choose from four off-road routes – 5, 10, 20 and 37 miles all starting from Southwell Rugby Club and are suitable for both child and adults alike. There is plenty to keep everyone entertained with food and drink stalls to keep cyclists fuelled up for the day including treats by Sweets of Southwell. This year’s sponsors are Saint Gobain Formula and Travel Wright and some of their employees will be taking part in the ride too.

With children’s entry costing just £3 and adult entry costing £14 or £20 (depending on the route chosen) it looks to be a busy and successful day. There will also be a personalised engraved trophy for the Under 12 who raises the most sponsorship money too!

For the runners out there, Reach’s biggest event of the year is the Mansfield 10K, which will take place on 16 September, where hundreds of runners and spectators will fill the streets to raise funds.

Fundraising events like the Reach Off Road and Mansfield 10k not only raise funds to support these much needed services but also bring communities together in a fun way to raise awareness of people with learning disabilities within their communities.

If you would like to know more either events see the links below: