Adoption is a lifelong journey. Many adopted people and their adoptive families need ongoing support and advice as they navigate their lives.

At Adoption UK we provide focused support and training, but we also work to create communities of people whose lives involve adoption, and campaign for improvements to adoption policy and practice to change lives for the better in the long term.

We love our work with adoptive families but we wouldn’t be able to achieve any of it without the money raised by our fundraising heroes. These energetic, committed superstars take on big challenges – from marathons, 100km bike rides and zip lining, to teddy bear hunts, singing bingo, live online gaming and cake sales. The one thing our heroes have in common is a commitment to supporting adoptive families (and maybe a touch of fearlessness!).

This September adoptive dad Andrew Dawson is becoming our latest fundraising hero, with an epic six-day 550-mile bike ride from the Adoption UK Scotland offices in Edinburgh to Old Buckenham Country Park in Norfolk.

Andrew and his wife adopted their two sons, now aged five and six, four years ago. Andrew wants to raise awareness of the support families can access during their adoption journey and raise funds to support Adoption UK’s work.

He said: My motivation is absolutely my two adopted sons. They’re brilliant boys and we just feel really lucky because our adoption journey has been quite smooth up to this point and we haven’t needed intensive support. But we know how hard it can be for some adoptive families and we want to do what we can to help.

“I know how vital it is to get the right support for adopted children and their adoptive parents, from the early days all the way through to adult life. We don’t know what’s ahead of us; we might find we need support ourselves in the future as our boys grow up.”

The day of a fundraising challenge is the final milestone, but for many of our heroes the challenge will have begun months earlier, with many taking on gruelling training schedules to help them hit their targets – and all while fundraising alongside. Motivation is key.

Andrew said: “I’ve been training six days a week – up to 300 miles cycling along with various strength and mobility sessions. I have also had to put a lot of focus into improving my diet. It’s hard work. I’ve always kept quite fit but I’m probably in the best shape of my life now!

“I’ve done some long bike rides but nothing like this. My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour last September, so when an opportunity to take a career break at the start of this year arose, I decided to take it so I could spend time with him. During this time, I wanted to do something that would give me a sporting challenge and also an opportunity to raise money for Adoption UK. My dad was really excited about the challenge and I’m glad he knew about it before he died – it really encourages me to keep going.

“It’s a real family effort though. My wife and the boys are behind me every step of the way.”

We are incredibly grateful to Andrew and to all our fundraising heroes. The money raised makes a lasting difference to adopted young people and all those who love them.

TheDawson500 six-day bike event starts on 6th September 2022 at the Adoption UK office in Edinburgh. To join Andrew, his best friend Matt, brother-in-law Brian, and the team for any part of (or all of) the ride, get in touch with Andrew on [email protected], or to donate to his fundraising appeal, visit

If you think you have what it takes to be our next Fundraising Hero please email [email protected] Your fundraising superpowers will help us achieve even more!

By James Alterman, Adoption UK’s Director of Fundraising and Business Development