Mum Carly riding to support son’s Bury St Edmunds school

Carly Wharf, whose son attends Riverwalk School, is doing a charity cycle ride in June with nine others to raise money for the Friends of the school.' Pictured: Jodie Hughes, Carly Wharf and Samantha Carrick with Jan Hatchell, head teacher, and Clare Bird, special support ANL-150421-235003009
Carly Wharf, whose son attends Riverwalk School, is doing a charity cycle ride in June with nine others to raise money for the Friends of the school.' Pictured: Jodie Hughes, Carly Wharf and Samantha Carrick with Jan Hatchell, head teacher, and Clare Bird, special support ANL-150421-235003009

A Brandon mum is getting on her bike to raise money for a special needs school which has greatly helped her autistic son.

Carly Wharf, 32, will join family, friends and hundreds of other cyclists in the London Nightrider challenge in June in aid of Riverwalk School in Bury St Edmunds.

Carly said she has noticed a ‘huge change’ in her son Alec, five, since he started attending the school’s nursery.

She said: “He is making steps in the right direction, we have noticed a huge change in him since he started there and we couldn‘t fault the school.”

Carly is participating in the charity ride alongside her husband, father, sister, brother-in-law and friends, one of whom also has an autistic child.

Her husband and father completed the 62-mile course last year to raise money for the National Autistic Society.

Mother-of-two Carly said the decision to fund-raise for the school, which caters for children with learning disabilities, came from a desire to help a local cause.

“We wanted to help something closer to home and raising money for Riverwalk will be fantastic,” she said.

“With a big organisation you can feel like you don’t know where the money is going, but by fund-raising for the school we know it will go to benefit the pupils.

“We had quite a fight on our hands to get Alec into the school, but now we have it is a massive weight off our minds.

“He has never spoken. We found out early on that something wasn’t right, but getting the diagnosis was a relief.

“We’ve learnt a lot about the disease since Alec was diagnosed, and that was the inspiration for this.”

The group of ten hope to raise around £500 each in sponsorship from the ride, which will start at the Lee Valley VeloPark at 10.45pm on June 6.

The circular route takes participants past many London landmarks and includes regular stopping points.

Carly has been preparing for the challenge with regular outdoor cycling and spinning classess.

“I’m nervous about it, but my husband and dad enjoyed it last year and said the atmosphere was great,” she added.

Those who wish to donate to the group can pick up a sponsorship form at Riverwalk School, in South Close, Bury.