A 75-mile cycle ride is not for the faint-hearted - and Adam Wearing has even more reason to be proud of participating in the Bucket and Spade event on June 13.
Adam, 23, is on the autistic spectrum, and cycling this distance is not without considerable challenges, says his mother, Meg Tierney, from The Wirral.
"Adam's autism means he has no sense of danger at all and is very headstrong,” she said. “This ride is about bringing together everything he has learned over the past three years whilst at Arden College. It means Adam has to think about people around him, traffic on the road, keeping up with the 'pack' and listening to commands.”
Arden College in Derby Road, Southport, run by Priory Education Services - part of the Priory Group of Companies - is a co-educational specialist residential college, providing support and care for young people aged 16-25 with learning difficulties such as autism.
Nationally, Priory Education Services run 22 schools and colleges providing education and support for more than 1,000 pupils of whom about 800 are on the autistic spectrum.
Meg said: “Adam found it difficult when he first joined Arden College - where he now studies - but he’s come a long way. Like many of us, he'd rather sit and watch TV. I am just so proud of him. My husband Carl and myself see Adam regularly and we talk on the phone every day.
“Adam is heavily into music, especially Queen. So we’ll be at the finish line singing 'we are the champions' and have party poppers at the ready. As a treat for his achievement, Adam will go and see a Queen show at the Southport Theatre.”
It will be the second time Adam has participated in the Bucket and Spade charity ride.
Meg said: "Last time, he was so elated when he took part, along with his two housemates and their carers. He's been going to the gym regularly and doing a bit of training and was asked by the staff at Arden College whether he would be interested in taking part again. I am so proud of everything Adam has achieved, even though he won't win the race, it's the participation that counts.”
Adam will be cycling along with Jossy Sitoe, one of his carers, and the residential home manager Steve Van Der Merwe.
Meg said: “He feels proud to see his achievements being recognised with a medal and certificate. It is really helpful for his self-esteem and mental health."
Mr Van Der Merwe, residential home manager of Arden College, said: "The ride will help raise money for Shoreline Church which runs community projects and counselling services, Community Link Foundation, which helps people in need in Southport, and Heartland which campaigns to reduce serious road traffic collisions in Merseyside.”
Adam Wearing is donating his charity money to CRY - Cardiac Risk in the Young. A family friend, also called Adam, passed away suddenly last year aged 24, said Meg. The money will be spent screening young people between the ages of 10-35 years for abnormalities in the heart, and supporting bereaved families.
For more details on Priory Education and Children's Services, please call 0118 970 8068 or click here to make an enquiry.