‘Being able to help Jake helps us all’

On a journey for Jake are Chris Small,George Powell,Laurence Graves,Brendan Agar,Craig FitzHenry and

On a journey for Jake are Chris Small,George Powell,Laurence Graves,Brendan Agar,Craig FitzHenry and George Fallows. Ref shs 3184-36-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Six cyclists are ready and raring to get going on a 500-mile fundraiser to help restore the independence of a paralysed builder.

Jake Pengelly is unlikely to ever walk again following an accident at home, but an appeal to support him has smashed the £5,000 target to upgrade his wheelchair.

His stepdad Laurence Graves and friends Chris Small, Brendon Agar, Craig FitzHenry, George Powell and George Fallows are setting off from The Marine tomorrow (Saturday) and hope to pedal their way to Amsterdam in just five days.

Chris, who has known Jake since primary school and was ‘devastated’ to hear about his accident, said: “Everyone’s really looking forward to it – we just want to get going.

“It’s something we can do to feel useful. It’s helping us all.”

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All but one of the riders are relatively new to cycling. Chris is unsure how his legs will cope covering 100 miles on five consecutive days, but the lads will push each other on.

Jake had a promising career as a builder but is unlikely to ever walk again after a split-second accident when he performed a front flip at home in February.

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He was left quadriplegic, with no movement in his hands or legs.

The 28-year-old is reliant on his family and friends for many everyday tasks, but power-assisted wheels would give him some independence.

Chris added: “Jake’s coping remarkably well and learning to do stuff he was struggling with before. He has a lot of close friends around him. We’re trying to get him out and about as much as we can.”

The six cyclists know they have already exceeded the upgrade’s £5,000 cost – and there could be hundreds more pounds in pledges on sponsorship forms around the town. A longer-term goal for the former Sidmouth College student is pioneering physiotherapy in the United States, but it costs £20,000 for six weeks of treatment.

To support the appeal, visit www.journeyforjake.co.uk

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