TV’s Matt Baker has thanked a trailer firm for playing a “crucial part” in getting the 2021 Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge on the road.
Ifor Williams Trailers, supplied the bespoke flatbed trailer which has been transporting the McLaren-made rickshaw from place to place during Matt’s fundraising venture in aid of BBC Children in Need.
Matt first came into contact with Ifor Williams Trailers after he needed a trailer to transport livestock whilst filming the popular TV series Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales.
He bought a trailer from the firm, and was hugely impressed by the trailer’s quality, drivability, and the company’s customer service. So, when it came to finding a trailer for the Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge Matt said: “I knew exactly who to go to from the start.
“Ifor Williams Trailers is a brilliant company. Once we approached them and explained what we needed they really got into the spirit of this challenge. They provided us with exactly the right kind of trailer, a really superb model which is easy to handle.
“I was hugely impressed with the graphics that put it perfectly on brand with Children in Need - it’s colourful and bright and looks brilliant travelling through the landscape with the rickshaw on board.
“Ifor Williams Trailers have played a crucial part helping us to get this challenge on the road. They are a company who go all out to meet their customers’ needs, but more than that they put community at the heart of all they do. They have been brilliant with us every step of the way and I now count them as my friends.”
Since he first launched the event a decade ago Matt has helped raise more than £41million for BBC Children in Need and cycled more than 4,500 miles travelling the length and breadth of the UK.
Traditionally, the final stages of the rickshaw marathon would be filmed on BBC1’s The One Show, of which Matt was a long-standing presenter. But he departed from the show to help save his family’s organic sheep farm after his mum was injured in a farming accident. The story of how he returned to the farm to help his parents has been documented in the TV series Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales.
This year, the 150-mile journey is being recorded for a one-off documentary, The Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge, which will air on BBC One at 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 10.
Rob Small, Head of Sales at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “We were delighted to be able to help Matt with this wonderful fundraising event in aid of BBC Children in Need which provides vitally important funding to change young lives for the better.
“Matt is an all-round great guy and it was a privilege to play our part in providing back-up support for the young rickshaw riders undertaking this tough but extremely worthwhile challenge.”
The one-hour documentary will share the team’s remarkable individual stories and also celebrate the history of the much-loved BBC Children in Need event whilst raising money to change young lives.
Over the course of a week Matt has met five inspiring young people who each take on their own home-town leg of the route.
All the rickshaw riders have at different points in their lives received help from organisations supported by BBC Children in Need. The relay team are:
To follow the team’s journey and show your support go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey and click The Rickshaw Challenge.
Speaking after he and young Rickshaw Challenge rider Olivia, completed a 30-mile ride from Southport, Matt was full of praise for Olivia who he described as an inspiration. Matt and the rickshaw team arrived at Claire House Children’s Hospice on the third leg of their journey where local families and friends of the hospice turned out in force to greet them.
The hospice has been supported by Children in Need donations in the past and offers much needed respite care for seriously ill children and their families, including Olivia’s younger sister, Jess.
Matt said Olivia has selflessly dedicated herself to fundraising from an early age and proved an incredible ambassador for the hospice and for the Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge.
Claire House Communications Officer, Hannah Shannon, said everyone at the hospice including families and friends of patients and staff were hugely excited to see the Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge arrive at their door.
She said: “This is a brilliant fundraiser, and we are so proud that Olivia was chosen to take part. She is so determined, and we always knew she could do it.”
Olivia said: “It was quite tough on my legs but knowing that it was for such a good cause and that so many people were supporting me helped to spur me on.
“It has been a fantastic experience but most of all it is great to know that it has helped raise money to support so many worthy organisations.”
Matt said the trailer is an invaluable piece of kit which has made the behind the scenes logistics of running this year’s Rickshaw Challenge much easier.
Normally riders follow a single route over a series of days. But this year to keep the event Covid-safe instead of the riders coming to the rickshaw, the rickshaw has been going to them.
This meant that having a reliable way of transporting the rickshaw around the country between legs was key to the success of the whole challenge – and the Ifor Williams team provided exactly the solution needed in the form of an easy to manoeuvre and quick to operate trailer.
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News » Ifor Williams Trailers helps Children in Need hero, Matt Baker, in Rickshaw Challenge