The Dynamic Duo Raise Funds Riding 100-miles for The Manifesto

Adisa and Paul the Dynamic Duo training for RideLondon posing for a photoshoot to support The Manifesto and to Raise Funds

Have you ever believed in something so much that you would pedal 100-miles to prove your passion? Well that's exactly what Paul Reid and Adisa Stephen-Ezechoa did, participating in RideLondon 2024 and fundraising on behalf of the new Ideas Foundation's project in the pipeline - The Manifesto. The dynamic duo's physical achievements were matched by their effort to raise funds of £1650 towards providing a platform for young people to share their unique perspectives.

I only trained to 50 miles and thought, "I just have to do that again" ...but I went too fast during the first half - Paul Reid

Working alongside professional creatives, Elicia McKenzie and Shae Shepherd, Paul and Adisa managed to take a series of photographs whilst training for the race. Using the photographs that Shae snapped of the pair training, visual artist Elicia will be painting an image of the dynamic duo that will be auctioned as part of the fundraising efforts for The Manifesto project.

It was a a joy to ride across the finish line with my brother. - Adisa the Verbaliser 

Paul and Adisa at the finish line of ride London, Adisa in the background with a fist raised and Paul in the foreground fist pumped.

Adisa and Paul cycling

Why all that Pedalling?

The Local Government Association reported a 69% decline in funding for youth services in England and Wales since 2010/11 [1]. The YMCA highlighted a 70% reduction in spending by local authorities from 2010/11 to 2018/19 [2]. The National Youth Agency found a 77% decrease in funding over a decade, linking this to increased crime rates among young people [3]. Looking at the stats alone, young people need intervention now more than ever; this is where The Manifesto comes in.

What IF - The Manifesto?

The aims of the project is to amplify voices young voices across the UK, connecting them with industry professionals, like Shae, Elicia and Adisa, and decision-makers to foster inclusivity and transparency. Through the Ideas Foundation's tried and tested workshop method, the team aims to engage 100-200 young people from diverse backgrounds, enhancing their skills in presentation, team building, negotiation, public speaking, and self-advocacy.

By collaborating with 6 learning providers nationwide, we'll strive to bring the project to Manchester, London and Birmingham, encouraging a broad representation and participation from students and educators alike. These collaborative efforts will culminate in the development of the Young People's Manifesto, incorporating their shared hopes, interests and concerns. Furthermore, we will encourage a group of Youth Advocates armed with the skills and confidence to champion their own call to action. A highlight that The Youth Advocates can look forward to is the "Meet the Decision-Makers" event, where the Youth Advocates will pitch their proposed actions to promote youth empowerment.

Paul training for ride London posing on his bike

Paul's take on the Dynamic Duo's Experience

Paul Reid shared his experience of the ride and the importance of the fundraising cause:

On Sunday, I completed Ride London as a fundraiser for the Ideas Foundation, a great charity that does tremendous work with young people in education and the creative industries. Huge thanks to everyone for all the awesome support, especially those who chipped in for our fundraising campaign. Your support is greatly appreciated and makes a big difference. Thank you!

Paul described the ride as challenging but incredibly rewarding and the classic British weather didn’t help, with fluctuating conditions from radiant sunshine to showers and headwinds. Despite waking up with cramps, Paul reflects on the experience fondly.

Before the start, the meeting at the Nelson Mandela statue was surprisingly calm and confident. The love from familiar faces was beaming. During the ride, Black Unity Bike Ride's aptly named Vibes Station gave the legs a much-needed energy boost. Riding with Adisa Stephen-Ezeocha and Mutarda from about 70 miles in through the most challenging part was a standout moment. Crossing the finish line together was a great feeling.

Paul expressed special thanks to Adisa Stephen-Ezeocha, his Captain, for his mentorship, and Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa and Black Unity Bike Ride for their outstanding leadership. He also acknowledged the support from his colleagues at The Ideas Foundation and the organisers of Ride London.

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