Harnassing the Challenge – Jack Shulton (Age 15)

Now, you may have heard many stories recently about Duke of Edinburgh trips however mine is a bit different to the average story.

When I signed up to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh I did not realise I would be selected to have harnesses attached to me in order to help out someone who has disabilities limiting his ability to walk for long distances. In order for this to work, he was allowed to travel on a trike to help him to complete the long distance journey. A group of eight of us were selected and we all took turns in attaching ourselves to the harness and to pull the trike along with us however the boy on the trike certainly had determination as he also played a big part in helping us all to achieve our end goal!

On the weekend the journey suddenly became a much more uphill task than we expected, and not just literally! The weather conditions were appalling but we had to carry on. These treacherous weather conditions meant that the tricycle was getting stuck in the mud the further we travelled. Also, the terrain on which our route had been laid out was almost impossible to go along, especially on the trike. This problem, however, solved itself, you could say, as the chains on the trike completely shattered leaving us with no option but to assist him with walking the rest of the way, with people still pulling his trike through the mud.

After a few tumbles and falls that almost resulted in him falling into the nearby river, we completed our journey in one piece… well 9 pieces but we all made it safely back. The whole group felt we had achieved many things on that journey, however the most important thing we achieved was helping someone, who probably thought it was impossible for him to even think about taking part in the trip and complete the challenge. Spirits were high for the coach journey back… for the first ten minutes, after that everyone had fallen asleep!