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Man’s epic bike ride for twin with learning disabilities

A man from Sheffield is gearing up to take on a 20-mile bike ride to raise funds for the learning disability service where his twin brother is supported.

James O’Connell, 41, is set to take on the cycling challenge on July 6, when he’ll face a trek around his hometown to raise money for Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities.

James’s brother William lives at an Hft service and has been supported by the charity for 25 years.  Inspiration for James’s ‘Tour de Sheffield’ trek struck earlier this year when he decided to use his passion for cycling to support a cause that would benefit his twin.

He’s now putting his fitness to the test by taking on an epic challenge to raise funds for a new sensory gazebo at William’s service.

James’s challenge will kick off at 8.30am and will see him spending at least three hours on his bike, with his route taking him on a scenic trail through the city and its parks, as well as including a visit to William’s Hft service.

To prepare for the challenge ahead, James has been hard at work training, taking part in regular bike rides and ensuring his diet stays healthy.

All funds raised by James will go towards a gazebo at the service where his brother lives. The new space aims to provide an outdoor space where people supported at the service can spend time together and welcome visitors in line with Government restrictions.

James said: ‘I’m taking on this challenge to raise awareness of people with learning disabilities and to help provide some funds for my twin brother and his friends so they can purchase a heated sensory gazebo.

‘The last year has shown how important keeping in touch and socialising is for everyone’s wellbeing. I hope that the money I raise will ensure we’re able to continue doing this whatever the weather.’

Emma Macdonald, sports and challenge events fundraising manager, said: ‘We’re delighted to see James taking on this very special challenge for his twin brother.

‘Following a very difficult year, it would be fantastic to have the funds for a brand new space for socialising and entertaining, which William and his friends could enjoy alongside their loved ones. As James travels around his hometown, we’ll be cheering him on every step of the way.’

To donate to James’s challenge click here.

Photo Credit – Hft

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James O’Connell
James O’Connell
26 days ago

Brilliant and thank you for covering this story. 👍