Rhoda cycles London without leaving Lasswade

Rhoda with physiopherapists Greig Wilson and Gerard Fox. Photo by Ian Georgeson
Rhoda with physiopherapists Greig Wilson and Gerard Fox. Photo by Ian Georgeson

Rhoda Gourlay, who has cerebral palsy and is registered blind, has challenged herself to cycle the 412 miles from Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace to raise money for a charity helping older people and other adults with a disability.

Rhoda (63) is completing the gruelling journey on a cycling machine at Drummond Grange Care Home in Lasswade, where she lives.

She officially started the cycle on March 14 and will continue to cycle a bit each day until she reaches her target. The cycle is raising money for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, a charity that helps older people and other adults with a disability across England, Scotland and Wales by offering grants of up to £5,000.

This is a personal challenge for Rhoda and she has been keeping a diary about her experience.

She said: “My first few days [of training] were quite strange. I rely on voices and touch to help me around the home and I was taken out of my familiar surroundings and comfort zone when I started this challenge.”

Despite the physical and emotional trials involved, this fundraising challenge is bringing Rhoda great pleasure. She added: “Having a purpose in my life again helps me to stay calm and relaxed. It brings me immense joy to be able to cycle again.”

Eleanor Wilson, general manager at Drummond Grange Care Home, said: “What Rhoda is setting out to achieve is amazing and she’s a real inspiration to all of us.

“She’s always looking for ways to help raise money for Barchester’s Charitable Foundation, which is why she’s the home’s ‘Foundation Champion’, but this is without a doubt her biggest challenge yet!”

Rhoda hopes to complete her cycle by summer 2016.