Falmouth teenager in One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge with Alex Jones
A MECHANICS apprentice who lost his sister and mother in a car accident six years ago will appear in BBC show as part of an ambitious challenge to raise money for the bereavement charity which counselled him.
Peter Birkett, from Falmouth, is one of five youngsters chosen by BBC Children in Need (CiN) to take part in the 700-mile Rickshaw Challenge around the British Isles with The One Show presenter Alex Jones.
Seventeen-year-old Peter was unable to walk properly for two years after the accident in 2007 which killed his mum, Linda, and sister, Shannah, and left him with two broken legs and head injuries.
In April he told the West Briton about his “long, tough road through hell” and his remarkable recovery from horrific injuries.
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In the same month, Peter and his father Geoff raised £1,000 for bereavement charity Penhaligon’s Friends – which provided Peter with six months of counselling after the crash – in a 12-hour sponsored walk.
On November 8, the pair will start the eight-day rickshaw challenge to raise money for the CiN-funded charity which helped him rebuild his life.
“I have always wanted to do something for CiN,” said Peter. “It is not every day you get the opportunity to do something which everybody in the country will know about.
“I am going to train as much as I can. But I admit I’ve been fitter.”
Peter started his dream job in September, a three-year apprenticeship at Mercedes Benz near Truro.
“I feel it has taken a long time to get my proper strength back, but working at the garage has helped, especially improving my mobility and flexibility.
“If my fitness lets me down, my determination will pull me through and overpower it.”
Peter will be cycling across the country with his dad Geoff.
“To start with my dad said: ‘Okay, I’ll partner you if you can’t get someone else,’ but now he’s just as excited about it as I am. We just can’t wait.
“Now that we’re actually doing the challenge, it’s so exciting, I can’t explain it.
“My dad’s really competitive but so am I, so I’m sure we’ll push each other on.”
Broadcast on The One Show through October and November, the team will ride around the clock with all riders taking turns to do a nightshift.
Team Rickshaw will be made up of five young people. Each will be partnered with a parent.
The journey begins on Friday, November 8 in Northern Ireland. The team will then cross the Irish Sea into Scotland, before pedalling down the west of England and into Wales.
Finally the team will head back into England, finishing at BBC Elstree live on the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show on Friday, November 15.
For more information, visit: bbc.co.uk/pudsey.