Falmouth teenager who lost sister and mother in a car crash to appear in One Show's Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need
A MECHANIC'S apprentice whose sister and mother died in a car accident in which he was badly injured will appear on television as part of an ambitious challenge to raise money for the bereavement charity that helped him.
Peter Birkett 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.
Now 17, Peter was unable to walk properly for two years after the road accident in 2007 which killed his mum Linda and sister Shannah and left him with head injuries and two broken legs.
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, from Penryn, raised £1,000 with a 12-hour sponsored walk for bereavement charity Penhaligon's Friends, which provided Peter with six months of counselling following the crash.
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've always wanted to do something for CiN," said Peter. "It's not every day you get the opportunity to do something which everybody in the country will know about.
"I'm 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's 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.
"To start with my dad said, 'OK, 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 night shift.
Team Rickshaw will be made up of five young people, and each will be partnered with a parent.
The journey begins on 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