Martin, FitzRoy’s Chair of Trustees, is taking on the Camino Way on a 500km, eight day cycle ride to raise money for the people we support. We caught up with Martin to find out more about the challenge, and why he wants to fundraise for FitzRoy.
Martin said: “I am cycling the Camino Way in northern Spain with six other friends. I’ve always wanted to walk this famous pilgrimage the Way of St James, as I know a number of friends who have done this before and they have all talked about it being a wonderful experience. So, when a good friend of mine invited me to join him in the challenge of cycling it, I jumped at the chance.
“I do really enjoy road cycling and try to get out when the weather is good. I live quite close to the South Downs and there are many small side roads which take you along some stunning countryside views. In the past I have cycled from London to Paris a couple of times, so I do have some experience of cycling long trips.
FitzRoy is an amazing organisation that truly transforms the lives of the people it supports. I am passionate about the right for all people to lead a full life and to have the opportunity to lead the life that they choose. FitzRoy empowers people with learning disabilities and autism to do just that and I know any money I can raise to support their work will make a huge difference.
“I have set an initial target to raise £1,500 but I am hoping I will exceed this. I know this money could be used in many different ways such as contributing to purchasing iPads to connect people with loved ones, or creating a sensory garden to provide a calming outdoor space, or some assistive technology that enables someone to live more independently. I know all of these things will make a big difference.
“Cycling 500km in eight days is a big challenge, particularly as there will be some very steep and long climbs along the way. It is important to be fit enough to be able to get back on the bike for eight consecutive days in a row, so to be honest, I am a little nervous but hope that all the training I have done will pay off.
“It is definitely giving me more motivation for this challenge by fundraising for FitzRoy. All of the people who have so generously sponsored me and put their trust in me will keep me going through the ups and downs of the journey. Knowing the money I raise will make such a big difference will also keep me the motivated as I cycle up some of those steep climbs.
“I consider it to be a huge privilege to be a trustee of FitzRoy, and particularly to be the Chair of the Board. In the four years I have been with the organisation I have had the opportunity to visit many of our services and to meet the people we support. In those visits I have constantly been inspired by the extraordinary passion and commitment of the staff I have met. Their dedication for the people they support is nothing short of humbling.
What I enjoy most about being a trustee for FitzRoy is having the opportunity and privilege of working with people who demonstrate the very best of humanity. It’s what gets me up in the morning!