Honiton charity backs veterans to take on a tandem challenge

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 01 June 2017

The new tandem launched by the the Baton charity.

The new tandem launched by the the Baton charity.

Archant

War heroes will be able to gain a sense of freedom and adventure on a new, specially adapted tandem thanks to a Honiton-based military charity.

The piece of equipment will be made available to service personnel who have lost the full use of their legs but would like a chance to take on challenges - such as the gruelling trek from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

It comes as part of a new ‘aspire with the spirit of adventure’ initiative launched by the Baton Charity.

The new piece of equipment cost the charity £6,000 and was specially made in Germany.

It is hoped it will encourage injured personnel to get out and experience a different kind of freedom.

The tandem will allow the person using it to sit in the front seat and use a hand crank while their legs are supported.

The person at the back then cycles, steers and changes gear.

The equipment will be made available whether it is just for the experience or to raise funds for charity, although a donation for maintenance will be appreciated.

Alan Rowe, the charity’s founder, said he saw the benefits of this type of tandem when he visited his friend Ben Parkinson, who sustained numerous injuries and had to have both his legs amputated as a result of action in Afghanistan with the parachute regiment.

Ben had told him just how much he had enjoyed the experience of using a similar piece of equipment.

“It was at that point we decided to get one,” Alan said.

Alan and his wife Pauline have paid for the cost of the project so far, so would welcome donations or any support to help war heroes explore new horizons

Tom Pales of ‘Freetrike’ in Silverton, Andy Summers of Land Rover Experience West Country and Phil and Tania Ford of Affordable Services Removals have also agreed to help with the ongoing care of the tandem.

Alan said: “Once again, people in Honiton and East Devon are doing their best to support our forces - past and present - and their families.”

Call Alan Rowe or email info@thebaton.co.uk for more information.

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