Wheelchair marathon to raise funds for Opportunity Groups
The Hidden Needs Trust’s (HNT) latest fundraising idea for Somerset and Dorset’s Opportunity Groups is a physical challenge with a difference! Taking place at the Sherborne Summer Festival on Saturday 16 June, Rachel Goodfellow, founder and fundraiser at HNT, is planning on completing a marathon in a specially modified ‘Motivation’ sports racing wheelchair.
Rachel Goodfellow - who in 2015 ran 7 marathons; in 2016 ran 27 marathons in 26 days; and in 2017 ran 65 miles in 12 hours - said: “The four Opportunity Groups - located in Yeovil, Taunton, Dorchester and Blandford Forum - rely heavily on donations from fundraising activities so they can continue to provide their unique service to children and their parents. I’m currently seeking sponsorship for the wheelchair, which I’ll be keeping for events and other promotional use for another 18 months following the marathon. My aim is to then donate the wheelchair to a para-athlete who really needs it, in order to fulfil their dreams.
“Ultimately, this means the wheelchair could potentially be seen at any athletics meeting in the world - if the para-athlete chosen was aiming high! For exclusive sponsorship of the wheelchair I’m asking for offers over £700. And of course, wherever the wheelchair goes...so will the sponsor’s name!”
Rachel's sons Peter (10), William (15) and George (18) will also be taking the physical challenge at the Sherborne Summer Festival this June, and para-athlete Ebony Court, who attended Yeovil Opportunity Group as a child, will be joining Rachel in her own sports racing wheelchair, to show her how it’s done!
Opportunity Groups provide specialist learning for pre-school children with additional needs and each has to raise £30,000 per year to operate. Rachel, whose daughter has special educational needs, set up the Hidden Needs Trust - managed by Somerset Community Foundation - in 2014 so that she could concentrate her efforts on fundraising for the groups.
Rachel Goodfellow goes on to say: “We’re also currently seeking a publisher for my first book, ‘The Adventures of Y’, which is a fun collection of tales about my autistic daughter and the challenges we face together as a family. This will be ready to go into book format later this year, so that we can continue to raise more funds for the Opportunity Groups – if anyone can help, please do get in touch!”For more information about the fundraising Hidden Needs Trust has planned later in the year, to sponsor the sports wheelchair, or publish Rachel’s book, you can visit the HNT website: www.hiddenneedstrust.org