An 11-year-old boy from Birmingham has managed to raise hundreds of pounds for his chosen charity by pedalling a gruelling 24 miles on his bicycle in an organised event.
Jaidev Lotay, from Wheelers Lane Primary School, took part in the ‘3rd Bike Ride’ for the Sikh Helpline, which started in South Birmingham’s ‘Guru Nanak Gurdwara’ in the early hours of 2nd October.
The Year 6 student was the youngest rider on the route.
The cycling course was carefully selected and passed through 10 local Sikh Gurdwaras from Birmingham to Wolverhampton.
Previously, the two rides in 2014 and 2015 had proved to be a huge success, not only bringing the community together but promoting health, wellbeing and charity work.
Last year, the ride raised around £14,166.59 – which allowed the Sikh Helpline to employ new staff members, move to new premises and open up new branches in Yorkshire and Manchester.
Jaidev, or Jai as he is known to family and friends, managed to raise £267, nearly doubling his goal of £150.
Speaking after crossing the finish line, the inspirational young fundraiser said: “The pain in my legs was nothing compared to the pain and struggles that other kids endure every day.
“The money I’ve raised will help kids like me to deal with issues beyond their control.”
Jai’s father, Suki Lotay, who also jumped on his bike to join in with the charity ride, said he was extremely proud of his son.
“He was overwhelmed that he actually managed to cycle 24 miles, which has been his longest ride to date,” Suki smiled.
“He was well prepared for it, as he had already completed his Level 1 & 2 Bikeability qualification at school which really helped his confidence on the road.”
The father and son team explained that some of the hills towards Wolverhampton were extremely ‘enduring’.
“We had the right support and more importantly, we used the correct gearing which helped us with the inclines,” Suki added.
Having conquered his longest bike ride to date, Jai has now committed to the Sikh Helpline team that he will cycle and fundraise every year as he enjoys the sense of achievement of giving back to the community.
Giani Sukha Singh, CEO of The Sikh Helpline, said, “We need the support of the local communities to help us keep up with the increasing demand of calls.
“Every call matters and a missed call may be the only attempt someone makes for help. It is crucial that every call is answered.
“The Sikh Helpline handles hundreds of calls each month on issues ranging from grooming, domestic abuse through to racism and substance addiction. Due to cultural barriers and protection of ‘honour’ within the local community, such victims suffer in silence.”
He added: “The Sikh Helpline has been invaluable in reaching out to the local Community and we anticipate further projects and I welcome their efforts to secure funding to pursue their good work.”
The Sikh Helpline always receives high volumes of calls and its demand has become nationwide. To find out more, visit www.sikhhelpline.com