Cycle Marathon Team Keeps Rolling On For Children’s Centre

Gavin Ward(left) and Andrew Malley meet Ollie Saxton(3) and his mum, Rachel at the Rygate Therepy Block at the Rygate Children's Centre, Sheffield.   1 March 2011
Gavin Ward(left) and Andrew Malley meet Ollie Saxton(3) and his mum, Rachel at the Rygate Therepy Block at the Rygate Children's Centre, Sheffield. 1 March 2011

A CYCLING team that raised £15,574 for a Sheffield centre for children with disabilities didn’t want to stop at the end of their marathon journey.

When they handed over the money to the Ryegate Children’s Centre at Tapton, representatives of Dransfield Properties were moved to carry on by doing a 48-hour TV Changing Rooms-style makeover of part of the premises.

It will be a follow-up to a 326-mile cycle ride from Marseille in France to Portofino in Italy by Dransfield managing director Mark Dransfield and 20 friends and family.

Money was raised for the Children’s Hospital Charity, which supports the Ryegate Centre. Now the cycle team’s attention is turning to the refurbishment of the centre’s waiting area, gym and treatment room in the therapy block later.

The Barnsley-based retail property specialists are working with Chesterfield architects WCEC, helping to boost the Arts For Health programme.

Mark said: “When we visited the centre we were all struck by just how much these improvements were needed and we decided that if we all volunteered our time and got involved with the work that we could make the money we had raised go much further.

“Our team has really pulled together and we’re all looking forward to getting on with the project and seeing it completed.”

Jenny Featherstone, team leader for community physiotherapy and occupational therapy service at Ryegate, said: “Staff are amazed by the level of commitment and generosity that Dransfield Properties and their team have shown and we are extremely grateful.

“We can’t wait to see the children’s faces when they see the new equipment, toys and fun designs on the walls.”

One of the patients who will benefit will be Ollie Saxton, aged three, from Intake, Sheffield, who was born with cerebral palsy spastic diplegia.

The condition makes crawling, standing and walking difficult and he has poor balance.

His mum, Rachel Saxton, said “Ollie loves going to Ryegate because he gets to play with lots of fun toys and often he enjoys it so much he doesn’t like to go home! The health benefits for Ollie of going to Ryegate are vast.

“He not only does lots of great work when he is there but the physiotherapists and occupational therapists teach me how to do exercises and games at home, which help him develop both physically and mentally.”