Big bike ride for The Big Splash Trust

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Big bike ride for The Big Splash Trust

Wednesday February 8, 2012

When Peter Coker and friends Simon Briars and Alan Chambers set off on a 1000-mile bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats in September, they had just one thing on their minds -  to raise as much money as possible for a local charity supporting disabled children.

With the journey completed, the three friends this week (January 31) presented a cheque for £4,019 to the Big Splash Trust, a charity set up by Jack Tizard School, at a special assembly held in their honour this week.

The Big Splash Trust supports children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities, with money going towards buying specialist equipment and the upkeep of the school’s hydrotherapy pool.

Cathy Welsh, headteacher at the school in South Africa Road, Shepherds Bush, said: "What an amazing thing to do. On behalf of all the students at the school, I’d like to thank Peter, Alan and Simon for their wonderful generosity and hard work. We are very appreciative of the effort that went into their journey. We will be purchasing much needed iPads and multi-sensory equipment with the money that has been raised.”

Under the guidance of a specialist cycle tour company Peter, Simon and Alan cycled on average 75 miles a day for 14 days, covering the whole length of Great Britain, experiencing the entire spectrum of the British weather system – from sunshine in Cornwall to heavy rain and strong winds in Scotland.

The fundraising effort was kick-started by Peter’s desire to complete a physical challenge after having recently turned 50. He thought it could double up as a fundraising event and, as his daughter, Gemma Coker, works as a teaching assistant at Jack Tizard, the Big Splash Trust was the obvious choice.

The three men, who have been friends for many years, paid £1,500 each out of their own pockets to take part in the tour and did several months of training in preparation.

Peter said: “We started our training sessions from our homes in Ealing to Richmond Park and then gradually as we got fitter, we headed off to Southend, Brighton, Oxford and Canterbury. We got very fit, although during the actual cycle, we were physically exhausted each night. I even managed to lose a stone in weight over the two week journey.”

Councillor Helen Binmore, H&F cabinet member for children’s services, said: “It is no mean feat to undertake such an impressive cycle ride and Peter, Simon and Alan are to be commended for their efforts to raise money. This is a wonderful example of the Big Society in action where people put others before themselves. This money that they have raised will make a real difference to the students at Jack Tizard school ..”

For further information on the Big Splash Trust, visit Jack Tizard school’s website (opens new window).

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