A Farnham man is in the process of cycling the length of Africa to raise vital funds for music charity Electric Umbrella.
Steve Owen, 54, is aiming to raise £20,000 for Electric Umbrella who work with learning disabled adults to make connections through music.
Steve’s journey started on January 9 as he set off from Cairo, Egypt, and he will cycle all the way to Cape Town, South Africa – a journey of more than 9,000km.
Steve’s trip will take three months to complete as he aims to be in Cape Town by April 22.
That equates to around 125km per day for five days at a time, with one day off for rest and then repeat. Steve will also be camping for the duration of his journey through the continent.
Set up as a charity in 2016, Electric Umbrella aims to co-create amazing, meaningful experiences that help those they support learn new skills and build confidence.
In doing so, they believe they can help empower learning disabled people to be who they are - and consequently challenge perceptions.
This is all because Electric Umbrella believes learning disabled people are all too often left behind.
Given the right support, and fantastic opportunities, Electric Umbrella believe anyone can be a superstar.
Steve said: “Electric Umbrella creates amazing live and interactive music experiences with learning disabled people to try to redefine people’s lens of what is normal.
“The strongest teams and companies adopt diversity to provoke a culture that provides an environment where we can all grow.
“Knowing yourself and being mindful of your emotions and behaviours while in uncomfortable situations, like a long-distance race, is a great self-awareness teacher.
“I've found in my previous challenges that I grow as a leader every time I come back, along with a hefty dose of humility and energy that propels me forward to try to serve my teams and others with gusto like Electric Umbrella.”
Electric Umbrella CEO Mel Boda said: “We are over the moon that Steve has chosen to raise money for Electric Umbrella by embarking on an incredible journey through Africa. His commitment and drive to take on such an enormous physical challenge is awe-inspiring!
“Support from fundraisers like Steve is absolutely invaluable and makes our work with learning disabled people possible. Our members tell us that the most important thing about Electric Umbrella is a sense of belonging, and that’s what every penny raised will go towards.
“We can’t thank Steve enough for choosing to support our community and we’d like to wish him all the best as he takes on this challenge - we look forward to following his progress!”