Meet Emily and Rafi, a mother and son who tackled over 230km on their tandem bike as part of our '100km of Summer' 2020 challenge. Nearly every day in June and July, they set out to reach their target, touring around the scenic Kent countryside and gaining lots of supporters on their way.

“Over the last two years, Family Fund has helped us so much,” Emily explained. “I wanted to give something back.”

“The grants from Family Fund have enabled us to purchase a trampoline and swing set for our son, Rafi. He loves jumping and it's such a good outlet for all his energy.

“It gives him so much freedom in a safe place to play. It’s made such a big difference because we don’t have to rely on public playgrounds, which can be time restricted and with the current situation, not very safe.

“Family Fund’s support has also enabled us to get Rafi the sensory toys we could not have otherwise afforded.”

A life changing bike

“This year, a grant from Family Fund made it possible to afford a bike for Rafi and me. It’s a shared tandem setup, where I do the pedalling in the back and Rafi gets to enjoy the experience of cycling.

“With the lockdown this year, having the bike saved us. It gave us an activity we could do outside of the house.

“We live in such a pretty place, with access to many paths away from traffic. It has been lovely to cycle with Rafi in this safe environment. It simply wouldn’t have been possible without the tandem bike.”

Fundraising for Family Fund

“I love keeping fit and I’ve been wanting to do a 10k run to raise money for Family Fund for a long time. However, as a single mum it’s just not been possible to go out running because Rafi needs looking after. Having the bike meant we could do something together, still do exercise, and fundraise for Family Fund!

“We were cycling every day, so when I discovered the 100ks of Summer, I decided to turn it into a fundraising event. It was so much easier as a virtual event – there was no need to organise transport, food, or even just getting the bike to a location. We probably couldn’t have done it had it not been virtual.”

Fundraising tips

“My advice would be to pick something that you enjoy and make your goal achievable. I kept track of our daily progress and tried to keep us to our weekly target of 25k. We aimed to do 4-12km a day.”

Emily also recommends sharing your progress visually on social media and JustGiving. “To help with fundraising, I filmed lots of little videos of Rafi on his bike. I’d often position the camera from my seat behind him, with him looking out at the places we were cycling to. I took lots of photos as well of the things we saw on our way, including lots of animals like donkeys and horses. Rafi likes the donkeys best!”

“Get as many people involved as possible. Tell everyone you know about it. For us, it was great because we were new to the area and people started to recognise us because of the bike. This made it social as well, which helped keep us motivated, especially during lockdown. It helped us to get to know our neighbours as well.”

A brilliant team, Emily and Rafi were one of our biggest fundraisers for the 100ks of Summer. They raised an amazing £325. This is vital support that will help families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people across the UK. Thank you to Emily and Rafi for making that possible!

Find out how you can try something new, push yourself, and show your support.