Learning Disabilities & Autism Real Lives

The charity bike ride that brought a community together

Each month we feature an inspirational individual or team who overcome barriers to make a real difference in their communities.  This month we feature Katherine Gooding who’s inspirational charity cycle ride landed her a place on the Dimensions Coronavirus Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List.

Introducing… Katherine Gooding

When Kathy started her charity bike ride, she didn’t expect to be cheered over the finish line by over 100 people. But her infectious smile and determination was just the boost of inspiration people needed during the national lockdown.

Kathy was inspired to cycle 200 miles to raise money for Hft – the organisation who support her and who supported her friend for 60 years before he passed away.

Kathy said she did the cycle, “…in memory of my dear friend. David was very kind to me and he was my friend. I will miss him very much.”

Cycling 200 miles is an achievement for many people, but for Kathy it’s extra special. This is because she has William’s Syndrome and after a stroke as a baby she was left paralysed on one side.

“She is mostly a happy person but can sometimes become very anxious. Kathy knows that she has William’s Syndrome and sometimes asks us why. She is also very conscious of her physical disability and questions why she has an arm and a leg that don’t work properly.”

But this hasn’t held Kathy back from wanting to thank the organisation that cares for her and that supported and cared for her friend so well.

“In the time of lockdown…Kathy brought a ray of sunshine into peoples’ lives.”

200 miles and £7000 later, she has achieved something phenomenal. But, Kathy did something else that is truly priceless…

“She brought the local community in her parent’s village together for a fantastic celebration, which was greatly received and very much enjoyed during difficult times.

“On the day that she achieved her 200 miles, more than 100 people stood at their gates or on the roadside to clap and cheer her on.

“Kathy created an event for local people to celebrate at a time when there little else to keep us cheerful.”

 *quotes have been taken from Kathy’s nomination for the Coronavirus Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List. They come from the person who nominated her, as well as her family.

The Coronavirus Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List is produced by Dimensions in partnership with Learning Disability England and VODG. It is an adapted version of the annual Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List.


Follow @DimensionsUK and #CovidLeadersList to stay up to date.


Edel Harris





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