Get on your bike and help transform someone’s life

The Pedal for Paws cycling challenge takes place on October 9

The Pedal for Paws cycling challenge takes place on October 9

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Dozens of people will pedal through some of the south’s most spectacular countryside in support of Canine Partners, which provides specially trained assistance dogs for people with disabilities.

The Pedal for Paws cycling challenge will see cyclists of all abilities and backgrounds take on a 16, 29 or 52-mile route on Sunday, October 9.

It comes after hundreds of people got on their bikes for Cycle to Work Day yesterday (September 14), including some of the Canine Partners team.

Anne Yendell, director of fundraising and marketing at Canine Partners, said: “This is the first time we have organised our own cycle event so the whole team is really excited.

“Cycling is a popular sport and one that can get the entire family out in the fresh air enjoying wonderful scenery.

“So what are you waiting for? Get on that bike and help us raise money to change the lives of more people with disabilities.”

Among the people Canine Partners has helped is Jon Flint who has spinal injuries and neural deficit and is a keen hand bike cyclist.

Now the former Royal Marines Lance Corporal who has taken part in both Invictus Games is urging people of all abilities to take part in the Pedal for Paws challenge so the charity can help even more people.

The 41-year-old from Midhurst said: “Being a wheelchair user doesn’t stop me getting out there on my hand bike and enjoying the countryside with my family and canine partner Jester.

“I encourage riders, especially those young or novice, to use Pedal for Paws as a way to embrace the fantastic sport of cycling whilst raising money for a fantastic local cause that I owe much of my independence to.”

There is still time to sign up for Pedal for Paws which starts and finishes from Canine Partners’ Southern Centre in Mill Lane, Heyshott, Midhurst.

Entry fees start at £20 per adult and £10 per child in advance, with the option of purchasing a Canine Partners cycle jersey as part of the package.

Participants are encouraged to seek sponsorship for their challenge and Canine Partners will provide the relevant support.

Any cash raised will help the charity continue its work training and providing assistance dogs which transform the lives of adults with disabilities.

The dogs can dress and undress people, empty washing machines and help their human partner use a cash machine.

For more information or to sign up call event coordinator Sian Wilson on 01730 716110 email: sianw@caninepartners.org.uk or visit caninepartners.org.uk/event/pedal-for-paws