The BCI’s Head of Thought Leadership, Rachael Elliott, took a day away from the office to volunteer for a charity very close to her heart, Berkshire Vision.
Rachael is registered as blind following a brainstem stroke five months prior to joining the BCI in September 2018. Just prior to the stroke, Rachael had won the national closed-circuit championships on the bike, and had broken a string of national records.
After the stroke, Rachael had to learn to walk again, and, coupled with losing her sight, cycling was the last of her priorities. However, as she began to get her strength back, she discovered riding – and latterly racing – on the back of a tandem. Although she has since broken most national tandem records, her primary enjoyment of cycling is the freedom to explore the outdoors, the ability to feel the wind in her hair, and smelling/hearing the changing seasons in the Berkshire countryside. Rachael was previously in another cycling club in Newbury but in 2018, she founded Newbury Velo Cycling Club with Glen Knight. The purpose of the club was to be a club open to everyone and, as Rachael puts it, “the cycling club for people who think they shouldn’t be part of a cycling club”. The club attracted local cyclists from diverse backgrounds, of all different abilities and ages, and boasted more female members on its roster as a percentage than most other clubs in the country. After its first anniversary, the club had over 300 members.
However, one […]