Meet the cycling enthusiast taking on a serious night shift this weekend… and raising funds for the kid’s charity with a Hollywood connection.

29-year-old Leanne Richardson from Cumbernauld will clock up 100km in the Glasgow Nightrider on 22 June in support of Over The Wall, a charity founded by actor legend, Paul Newman.

Having also volunteered at two of the charity’s residential therapeutic camps, Over The Wall is close to Leanne’s heart having seen for herself the positive impact it has on youngsters with health challenges and disabilities.

Leanne says: “I wish I’d known about the camps when I was younger as I think they would’ve really helped me and my family. They give kids and families who are affected by isolation and an inability to have everyday fun the chance to participate in games and activities. It makes such a difference in their lives.”

Having lived with epilepsy since her early teen years, Leanne experienced a prolonged seizure four years ago. A period of intense rehabilitation followed to allow Leanne to walk again properly, due to being left with a partial weakness to the left side of her body.


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Sharing how the incident changed her life and helped discover her love of two wheels, Leanne adds: “As part of my recovery it was recommended that I do some cycling on a static bike to build up my strength. I hadn’t really cycled at all before that point. To be honest, I had no interest in cycling... but it was then it started to become a huge part of my life.”

No stranger to taking on a challenge onboard her specifically modified bike, earlier this month Leanne cycled 100km in the London Nightrider and has raised over £700 for Epilepsy Scotland with fellow members of the Glasgow Gals cycling club.

The Glasgow Nightrider is not your average ride out. Pedalling off on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning, the ride commences at The Hub on Pacific Quay just before 11pm. Split into two loops, the riders will head south as far as Newton Mearns before returning to the city centre and cycling out to Clydebank and back.

With no marshals en route and some serious gradients to contend with, ahead of the ride Leanne says: “A big challenge is the tiredness due to it being during the night. Especially having epilepsy, tiredness is a huge trigger for a seizure. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve got to be careful about.”


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And taxis and late night revellers aren’t the only thing Leanne needs to keep an eye on, as she adds: “I try to stay with a group of cyclists so I’m not on my own during the ride, but it’s not always possible. It’s a bit nerve-racking the possibility of being left on my own in the dark.

“But I do the Nightrider cycles because it’s more of a challenge. If you say you’re doing a 100km during the night it sparks the idea of it being more of a challenge.”

Highlight how important the 29-year-old's support of the charity is, Over The Wall media officer, Spencer Butt, says: "Leanne is supporting us in two of the most important ways, having given her support by volunteering at camp and in raising funds for us too.

"Generally we usually say that the more funds the charity receives, the more places at camps we can offer. In that way, the money that Leanne is raising will increase the number of children who are able to enjoy our therapeutic residential camps."

Leanne’s fundraising for Over The Wall falls on a special year for the charity as it marks a special birthday this month.

Spencer adds: “We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. We were originally founded by the late, great Hollywood actor Paul Newman, and brought to the UK by Greenock-born businessman Joe Woods.

“One of the biggest drives this year is to have more children able to attend the camps than ever before. At the very first camp we had 25 children. This year we’ll have broken our record to have 1000 children across all the camps.

"800 volunteers are needed across all camps for them to function. With camps in Perth and Fife this summer we’re always looking for new volunteers."

In memory of the true Hollywood legend, Spencer says: “The ethos of the charity is to enable children to reclaim the parts of childhood they lose when experiencing an illness. As Paul Newman used to say, “raise a little hell.”

To support Leanne’s Glasgow Nightrider challenge, visit her Virgin Money Giving page.

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