Quartet ready for cycling challenge

The intrepid cyclists
The intrepid cyclists

A QUARTET of teenagers are planning on using pedal power to raise thousands of pounds for charity - by cycling the length of the country.

Alex Ashford, 15, Charlie Godin, 14, Jamie Ashford, 17, and Dominic Hyland, 15, are all in training preparing for their 974-mile ride from Lands End to John O’Groats.

The boys, all keen cyclists, are taking on the mammoth challenge to raise cash for Chestnut Tree House, the only children’s hospice in Sussex.

They set off from Eastbourne on July 21, and will head off from their starting point north of the border this weekend. If all goes to plan, the teenagers will reach Cornwall in two weeks’ time.

Jamie, the oldest of the group, is already a keen supporter of Chestnut House having taken part in the midnight walk fundraiser here in Eastbourne back in May. And the 17-year-old says he and his friends cannot wait for the gruelling trip to get underway.

Speaking to the Herald shortly before setting off, he said, “After many months of planning, it is now very exciting to think we will be starting very soon.

“I originally thought setting a fundraising target of £3,000 was very ambitious, but we are getting there.”

He had also been bowled over by the support the boys have had. They have been lent a minibus and given free accommodation along the way.

“It has been fantastic to see the support and generosity of people,” said Jamie, “I hope people will visit our website and donate through the Just Giving page we have set up.”

That website can be found at www.end2endcycle.co.uk, which includes links to the Just Giving page, and the cyclists have already seen more than £2,000 pledged.

The recipients of the cash, Chestnut Tree House, was delighted the boys had chosen to do something so positive.

Its spokesman Louise Collins said, “I cannot believe the challenge the boys have set themselves. Everyone at Chestnut Tree House wishes them the best of luck. It costs £2.5million each year to provide the services at Chestnut Tree House and less than 10 per cent of our costs are funded by the Government. For the rest, we rely on people like Jamie, Alex, Charlie and Dominic.”