Andy's 2022 charity Projects

One of the (many) benefits of getting sober is that you start to once more live life on your own terms. This can mean making time for the stuff that makes you feel fulfilled and happy. In 2018 I rode the entire course of the Tour de France for a charity helping disadvantaged children. When working with clients, a lot of the later conversations revolve around making their sobriety mean something positive for others, as well as themselves.

In 2022 I am doing it again! Admittedly, this time, I am 'only' doing the 8 mountain stages through the Alps and the Pyrenees, as I cannot make time for the whole thing, but the training commitment is just the same!

I am also using my role as a spin instructor to organise events based around the gyms that I teach at. There will be spinathons outside local supermarkets, quiz nights, and , ulp, a sponsored leg wax so my class attendees can finally get their own back! 🙈

The Tour de France event is organised by the William Wates Memorial trust (see below) and I will be heavily fundraising for them. I am also fundraising to help the most amazing little girl, who is leading a very challenging life. See more about my events I will be doing below.

In April, I will be Mountain Biking across the Arctic Circle to raise awareness for these amazing causes.

In addition, I will be fundraising for a cause very close to my heart locally. Some very close friends have a disabled daughter and are fundraising to get a specially trained dog to help manage her highly unique and severe type of autism. Little Edee struggles to cope with some of the very basic tasks we all take so much for granted - dressing, playing and even eating can be a struggle. Specially trained autism dogs have been shown to remove a lot of the pressure associated with human - human contact and can really help children with these kinds of conditions gain independence through practicing these tasks in a non threatening and judgmental environment.

An Assistance Dog for Edee

Edee is an amazing little girl facing some seriously big problems. I know her and her parents personally and is facing a tough life.

I am working with Lauren, Edee's Mum to raise money for a course I feel extremely passionate about, as I can see the impact of this first hand.

At just 2, she was diagnosed with a cluster of related issues that make every day a mountain to climb: Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Sensory Process Disorder (SPD) and Hyper mobility.

Like me, you might not have heard of these problems before, so here's a sense of what life is like for Edee. She struggles with extreme anxiety, even in her own home. 

This means she can't be left alone, even for a minute. Her parents can’t just nip to the kitchen and pop a wash on or even make a drink, without Edee feeling panicked that she has been abandoned. 

To feel safe and stay calm, Edee has to have one of the few people she feels safe with, with her at all times. This puts huge pressure on family life. Highly trained autism dogs have been shown to break through these emotional issues and can help young people begin to develop a degree of independence that would otherwise create enormous stress for them.

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William Wates Memorial Trust

Andy rides the Tour de France - again!

The William Wates Memorial Trust helps disadvantaged children, often on the edge of the correctional system, to transcend their circumstances and build fulfilling and productve lives.

I have personally seen first hand the amazing work that they do and could not be prouder to raise money for the valuable projects they support across the UK.

While riding the Tour in 2018 and raising a significant sum for them, I leant heavily on the importance of their work to keep me going when slogging up a mountain in the cold and the rain.
Amazing people, amazing charity and an amazing cause.

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Mountain Biking across the Arctic Circle

4 Days by bike in sub zero temperatures across the Finnmarksvidda plateau in April. Hoping for Northern Lights, migrating reindeer and blue skies! Maybe.

The Dragon Ride

dragon ride 2022The Dragon Ride is an infamous one-day cycling challenge through the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Organised by the Tour de France, this is the closest you will get to a mountain stage of the Tour. 213Km, 3,500m of ascent, all against the clock, with the slowest riders getting eliminated. Nice.

The mountains of the Tour de France

The 7 key mountain stages (12-18) of the Tour. Get ready for long slogs up BIG mountains in July! And crying in my video blogs. Again.
Author of Sober In Seven and wellness and sobriety coach in the UK, here to use my own experience of overcoming alcohol addiction to support you on your journey to a better healthier life.

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