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‘Determined’ to cycle each day in January

A disabled teenager from Congleton, who has been dubbed an “absolute inspiration” to her community, is saddling up for a 31-mile cycling challenge next month.

Becca Carey plans to cycle one mile a day every day in January.

This month, she could be seen in her wheelchair around town in the run-up to Christmas as she collected donations with dad Tim during Santa’s annual charity float tour.

In the new year she wants to raise more funds. This time to say thank you to Congleton-based voluntary organisation Friends for Leisure.

Friends For Leisure has been supporting her for seven years. It organises activities and outings for disabled children and young people aged five to 21 living in Cheshire East.

It also runs drama and sports sessions and helps to reduce the isolation and loneliness that can exist alongside having a disability.

The identical twin, who has cerebral palsy, said: “I can’t run or walk but I can cycle so that’s what I’m determined to do, so I can raise £500 for the charity that has done so much for me.

Ms Carey, who was born at 28 weeks old weighing just 2lb, said that her support for Friends for Leisure will form part of her volunteer work for her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

Becca said: “Over the last seven years my independence has grown. I love going to the youth groups where I have been able to make new friends and have amazing new experiences. Without Friends For Leisure, I couldn’t do all the things I love, such as horse riding, surfing, and cycling”.

Her mum Pam said: “Becca spends a lot of time around adults who support her, but with the support of the charity she can spend time with her own peer group and make meaningful friendships.

“She has become much more confident and wants more independence and not to spend all her time with her parents, as it should be for a 15-year-old. It’s fantastic to see she wants to give something back to show her gratitude.”

Claire Addis, Friends For Leisure’s fundraising co-ordinator, said: “We can’t thank Becca enough. She is an absolute inspiration to the local community and living proof that disability doesn’t have to stop you from achieving everything you want to in life.

“There are still too many unnecessary barriers that can make it difficult for children and young people with disabilities. We work hard to break these down, but we can’t survive without support from incredible supporters and volunteers like her, more so now than ever before as local charities like us are dealing with funding cuts and rising costs.”

To help Becca reach her £500 target, donations can be made online at justgiving.com. Search for “beccas cycle for friends for leisure”.

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