Medical student takes part in The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge

University of Leicester medical student Phoebe Avbulimen completes the Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need

On Friday 16 November 2018, University of Leicester medical student Phoebe Avbulimen, successfully completed BBC One’s The One Show Rickshaw Challenge to raise money for Children in Need. Covering a distance of over 400 miles in eight days, Phoebe successfully completed the challenge with five other young cyclists and The One Show’s presenter Matt Baker.

Averaging about 50 miles per day, the team cycled a total of 423 miles. The Challenge began in Calais, France and finished in Salford, Manchester, with each of the young cyclists taking turns to ride the custom-made rickshaw bike.

Phoebe said: "When I was invited to take part, I was excited and a bit nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I had not ridden a bike in years, let alone a rickshaw."

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an amazing chance to raise money and awareness for charity."

All the riders in the Rickshaw Challenge have been supported in some way by BBC Children in Need-funded projects. Phoebe was inspired to take part because she wanted to raise awareness of stammering in children and to raise money for an associated charity.

She said: "I wanted to raise money for the charity, Action for Stammering Children and to inspire other young people going through challenges."

One of the highlights for Phoebe was the support the team got from the crowds of people that came out along the way. She said: “Whole primary schools would line up outside their school gates to cheer us on as the rickshaw rode past… it meant a lot to know we were making a difference. It was a constant source of motivation.”

That’s not to say that it wasn’t challenging. Having just started university, one of the most challenging aspects for Phoebe was being away from family and friends.

Nevertheless, it was all worth the effort. The 2018 The One Show Rickshaw Challenge raised more than £74,000 for worthwhile charities. For Phoebe, knowing the event had raised so much for charity meant a lot.

She explained: "I was overwhelmed and extremely grateful to everyone who donated and supported. It could not have been done without them. To know the Rickshaw Challenge team and I cycled over 400 miles for charity felt incredible."

The cyclists had developed quite a bond over the eight days and Phoebe said that she is determined to keep in touch with the team through social media.

Since her return, Phoebe has received great support from friends and lecturers at the University.

For anyone thinking of taking part in future Rickshaw Challenges, Phoebe gives the following advice: "Stay strong and remember why you are doing it."

Phoebe would like to thank everyone who supported the event and considers herself very blessed to have been part of the experience, knowing it will help better the lives of other young people in the UK.

Phoebe’s Route:

  • Day 1: Friday 9 November: Calais to Ashford (48 miles);
  • Day 2: Saturday 10 November: Ashford to Lingfield (49 miles);
  • Day 3: Sunday 11 November: Lingfield to Hook (52 miles);
  • Day 4: Monday 12 November: Hook to Royal Wootton Bassett (57 miles);
  • Day 5: Tuesday 13 November: Royal Wootton Bassett to Malvern (56 miles);
  • Day 6: Wednesday 14November: Malvern to Blists Hill, Ironbridge (51 miles);
  • Day 7: Thursday 15 November: Blists Hill to Ironbridge to Chester Zoo (58 miles);
  • Day 8: Friday 16 November: Chester Zoo to Salford (52 miles)