Rickshaw Relay challenge: when is Children in Need programme on, who are the participants, and how to donate?

BBC presenter Matt Baker went along for the ride with five young people who have benefited from Children in Need projects

Matt Baker hosts the challenge, as he cycles across the UK (Picture: BBC)

Children in Need is one of the UK’s most recognised children’s charities, with the iconic Pudsey bear turning 36 years old in 2021.

The charity holds annual events, in partnership with the BBC, in which celebrities and those who have benefited from the work the charity does take part in challenges.

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This year, the Rickshaw challenge will return for its 11th year, however it will follow a different format this year.

Here is everything you need to know about when the Rickshaw Challenge airs on BBC One, who took part this year and how you can donate to the children’s charity.

What is the Rickshaw relay challenge?

This year, BBC presenter Matt Baker will host the challenge alongside five young people who have been supported by BBC Children in Need funded projects.

Instead of the five participants travelling to the Rickshaw challenge and participating together, they will individually complete a leg of the ‘relay’, due to Covid restrictions.

Baker will travel to each of their hometowns and visit places across the UK which hold a particular significance for each rider, along the way.

The programme will not only highlight the team’s remarkable stories but also celebrate the history of this much-loved BBC Children in Need event.

Who are the Richshaw relay challenge participants and what is the relay route?

The five riders come from different areas of the UK, all united by their resilience and their relationship to Children in Need.

1 November - Somerset, Bristol

On November 1, 16-year-old Thomas from Somerset took part in the challenge.

He has used the Children in Need ‘The Space’ services since 2018, when Tom’s Mum, Ceri and Dad, Rod, were involved in a devastating car accident.

The accident took the life of his dad and left his mum critically injured and told she may never walk again. Miraculously, Ceri recovered and has since ran 10K to raise money for South West Ambulance Service.

This catastrophic event completely changed Tom’s life and he relied on the one-to-one counselling services provided by The Space. He has continued to use them ever since.

Thomas said: “School went very easy on me for a long time and that wasn’t what I wanted, I didn’t want special treatment. I was able to talk to The Space who gave me the support I needed – I can’t thank them enough for being there for me at such a hard and devastating time in mine and my family’s life.”

2 November: Media City, Manchester - Merseyside, Liverpool

On 2 November, Matt will travel to Media City, Manchester and ride with 18-year-old Rainbow, to his home city of Liverpool.

Rainbow was born with anavidea mystagnus, a condition which means his eyes couldn’t focus and he had glaucoma. Aged nine, Rainbow had lost sight in his left eye and his right eye had rapidly deteriorated to the point where he relied on braille.

Despite his struggles, he is a keen sportsman and loves football. Rainbow is on the British blind football team and is an ambassador for BBC Children in Need funded project, British Blind Sport.

Speaking of the Rickshaw challenge, Rainbow said: “I have always been pretty sporty, loving rock climbing and running amongst many others... Football has opened so many doors for me and I am hopeful of one day representing Great Britain at the Paralympics. I also want to develop my skills as a football coach as I take great joy from helping others and hope that I can inspire more people to try blind football.”

3 November - Southport

Olivia is grateful to Children in Need for supporting her family and younger sister, Jess

Young carer Olivia, a 17-year-old from Southport was the next to take on the challenge.

Olivia, ‘Liv’, is the proud elder sister of Jess, who was born with a chromosome abnormality and Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, an overgrowth disorder characterised by increased risk of tumours and large congenital features, a severely life-limiting condition.

Liv has dedicated her young life to support her sister and has been supported by BBC Children in Need funded project, Claire House Hospice.

The project has funded a Play Therapist and Team Leader role for a sibling support group to give children and young people such as Olivia the support they need to cope with the emotional difficulties of having a sibling with a life-limiting condition.

Liv, a fashion student, said of the service: “I am beyond grateful for the incredible support I’ve received from Claire House Hospice over the last five years.

“As a family, we are unable to go on holiday so Claire House Hospice has provided us with fun days out such as trips to the beach, a farm and also the opportunity to meet other children and families who are in the same position.”

4 November - Ulverston, Cumbria

Harrison overcame life threatening illness

Harrison, from Cumbria, was the next young person to cycle as part of the relay.

The 20-year-old developed a serious bowel infection at one week old and weighing only 1lb 8oz, was unlikely to survive. He overcame two brain bleeds and life threatening infections, a heart duct operation, tracheostomy and hernia operations before he was even eight months old.

That Christmas, he was sent home to make memories with his siblings as doctors feared he would pass away shortly afterwards. Instead, he made a miraculous recovery and has since endured 20 operations in his young life, he has Cerebral Palsy and Chronic Lung Disease.

Since he was 3 years-old, Harrison has been part of the BBC Children in Need funded project, Sunbeams.

The project offers music sessions for young people affected by illness or disability, along with their families in Cumbria, leading to improved communication skills, emotional wellbeing and improved family relationships.

Harrison, a natural entertainer and keen musician, said of the challenge: “I’m so excited to join team Rickshaw, I already ride a trike and have recently cycled five miles which was my goal.”

5 November - Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh girl Millie, 20, was diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome, a rare liver condition, when she was born and underwent a liver transplant before her first birthday.

Despite experiencing visual and hearing impairments, she is happy and healthy and is supported by BBC Children in Need funded project, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

The service offers one-to-one and online support for 11-24 year olds who are experiencing liver disease.

Millie has also competed in 12 British Transplant Games, and 2 World Transplant Games, which are also supported by the charity.

Millie said: “Children’s Liver Disease Foundation has been fundamental in supporting me for many years – the peer support is what I appreciate the most.

“I have instilled a positive attitude all these years through my difficulties and I honestly don’t know life any other way – I’m so grateful for the support.”

When is the Rickshaw Relay Challenge on TV?

The challenge will air on a one-off show on BBC One, on Wednesday 10 November at 7.30pm

How can I support Children in Need?

You can donate to Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge directly, by visiting the website.

  • £30 pays for a new cot mattress for a family living in temporary accommodation, ensuring their baby has a safe place to sleep.
  • £50 pays for one to one play therapy for a child with a life limiting illness, helping them to cope with their condition.
  • £100 will pay for one to one therapy for a child who has been sexually exploited, helping them express their feelings and rebuild their life.

You can also buy Children In Need merchandise in ASDA stores, as well as on the Children In Need website.

There are also various text message codes you can use to donate various amounts to the cause.