Two residents from charity, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) will be taking part in Intersport Run Reigate’s 5km challenge on 15 September 2019 and will be the first-ever participants to be pushed along the course by other runners.
Ashleigh and Jonathan are both residents at QEF’s Independent Living Service and both have Cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. They aren’t able to use self-propelling wheelchairs to get around the course, but this isn’t going to stop them taking part in this fun public event.
Ashleigh loves outdoor activities and big crowds and is really looking forward to the experience. She says: “I’m looking forward to this, especially as we will bring music and attach it to my wheelchair. I love Lady Gaga the best – my nickname here is Gaga, because I love her music so much.”
Jonathan loves being outdoors and having the wind in his face. He will really enjoy the atmosphere of the whole event, clapping along with the crowds and cheering him and Ashleigh on as they go around the course.
Ashleigh and Jonathan are only able to take part in Intersport Run Reigate because of two people who work with them at QEF – Ana-Maria and Ellie. They both decided to take on a 5km run, but then decided it would be great to open it up to QEF residents as well, so they could also enjoy the experience of being part of a challenge event. There were considerations such as how heavy the wheelchairs are, how to manage personal care requirements on the day and most importantly, who would enjoy it most.
This isn’t a small commitment, as they will be running the 5km route alongside everyone else, whilst pushing Ashleigh and Jonathan around the course in their wheelchairs. Ana-Maria will be pushing Ashleigh and Ellie will be pushing Jonathan, whilst ensuring they are happy and comfortable at all times.
All four of them are taking on this challenge to celebrate inclusivity – giving everyone the chance to get involved and enjoy a challenge event like this, whilst also raising money for QEF’s new Care and Rehabilitation Centre just outside Leatherhead. QEF will be offering a personalised service that provides specialist care to people with lifelong complex disabilities, and expert neuro-rehabilitation to people with acquired brain injuries; helping each person to maximise their independence. You can support them at: justgiving.com/fundraising/teamils
For more information on QEF’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre visit: qef.org.uk/CRCappeal
For more information on Intersport Run Reigate contact: firstname.lastname@example.org