Spectrum’s CEO cycles across China for Wakefield’s vulnerable

The Chief Executive of Spectrum Community Health, Dr. Linda Harris, and her family are embarking on a cycling challenge across the Chengdu Province of China and into Tibet to help raise funds for SpectrumPeople, the volunteering and charitable arm of Spectrum.

Starting on the 1st September, Dr. Harris, her husband Gareth and family Chris, Seb and Rhianna will mount their bikes and ride up to 120kms a day covering a total distance of 700km, which they hope to complete over a 12 day period. The challenge will include crossing three high mountain passes with the highest pass at a staggering 4298m altitude (over three times the height of Ben Nevis), which will beat Linda’s highest climb which currently stands at 4215m.

This is not the first time Dr. Harris has taken up such a challenge as she completed a UK tour on her bike last year, cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for ‘Come Dine with Spectrum’, one of the many meaningful activities organised by SpectrumPeople in support of vulnerable adults who are recovering from addiction.

The tour will firstly take the group across the hustle of Chengdu City, before heading North West into the agricultural and rice growing regions. From there they will climb slowly and steadily through the river valleys lined with snow covered peaks and finally to the wide open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau.

Valuable funds raised from the ride will support SpectrumPeople, which is the volunteering and charitable arm of Spectrum Community Health. Granted charitable status in June 2013 and made up of service users, community representatives and staff, SpectrumPeople co-ordinates meaningful activities that support vulnerable people by promoting positive physical and mental health and wellbeing. SpectrumPeople’s aim is to promote social inclusion of vulnerable people by relieving their needs and helping them to integrate into society.

Programmes under the scheme include The Allotments, which helps vulnerable people to grow their own fresh food and gain exercise; Come Dine with Spectrum, a programme that helps service users to learn how to prepare fresh, healthy meals; Creative Arts that help service users to express themselves and communicate; and the SpectrumPeople Café, a weekly drop-in club that promotes socialising and companionship. All the programmes help service users to build up their self-esteem and confidence, learn how to socialise and integrate into the community and also provide them with some essential skills to stabilise their often chaotic lifestyles.

Dr. Linda Harris comments: “Following on from the success of last years’ UK tour, we decided to embark on another biking challenge to raise more money for SpectrumPeople. This time, however, the challenge is even tougher covering much harder terrain.

“Knowing the difference that SpectrumPeople makes to vulnerable adults across the Wakefield District makes the challenge worthwhile and will spur me and my family on to the finish line when it seems in far sight.”

You can follow Dr. Linda Harris’s progress across China on twitter: @lindaha123 or @spectrumCIC or via our Facebook account – spectrumcommunityhealthcic. You can also donate towards Dr. Harris’ cause by either visiting our Head Office at White Rose House, West Parade, Wakefield WF1 1LT or sending a cheque made payable to “Spectrum People” at White Rose House, West Parade, Wakefield WF1 1LT.

For more information about Spectrum People email: spectrumpeople@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk.

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