PENRYN teenager Peter Birkett has helped to raise £1.5 million for charity by cycling across the country in a rickshaw in memory of his sister and mother who were killed in a car crash six years ago.
Along with his father, Geoff, the 17-year-old completed The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge as part of a 10-strong team which raised £1,534,996 for BBC Children in Need (CiN).
Pedalling day and night to help cover 700 miles in just eight days, the pair rode in relay with team members.
When he was 11, Peter was involved in a car crash that claimed the lives of his mother and sister.
After the accident, which left him with two broken legs, he received counselling from the CiN-funded charity Penhaligon’s Friends.
Undertaking the challenge in memory of their family, Peter and Geoff were warmly received by One Show viewers as they watched their emotional journey unfold.
Speaking about the challenge, Peter said: “I think it’s been a great experience for us all.
“Of course at times it was difficult, but to know that we were raising so much for a great cause really helped power me through.
“I think our competitive streak helped me and my dad as well.
“One of the most memorable moments was cycling into Abergavenny; the crowds that came to cheer us on made a difference wherever we were, but to ride into a reception like that was brilliant.”
Meanwhile Geoff also proved an integral member of the team. “There were so many highs to choose from, but it was great to take part alongside Peter,” he said.
“I actually celebrated my birthday on the road – certainly one I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.”
Team Rickshaw consisted of five young people, each supported by projects funded by CiN.
Four of the riders, including Peter, were partnered with a parent, while One Show host Alex Jones paired with Martin Perry to complete the group.
Rickshaw veteran Matt Baker also supported the ride, cycling alongside the team throughout the journey and acting as mentor to the riders.