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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Cyclists rise to the challenge

SIR – Myself and some friends acted as the support staff for a group of ex-forces cyclists who completed The Lakes Challenge Cycle Ride for Combat Stress and Help the Heroes on June 24-26.

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top team: From left: Steve Laughlin, Darrell Staples, David Foster, Jonathan Anders, Christian Coultard, Phil Chaletzos, Pascal Mauger, Lee Hilland, Andy Marshall, Wendy Thomas, Kevin Porter, Paul McAlevey and support staff David Hilton, Caroline Easdon, Linda Hilton and Gordon Florence

This is a new venture in cycling and an idea devised a couple of years ago by Andy Marshall, specifically to help two charities: Combat Stress and Help the Heroes.

We are all aware that men and women serving in the forces can return home from areas of conflict not only with terrible physical injuries but also with injuries that cannot be seen, such as depression.

To raise money to help these men and women, a gruelling 150-mile cycle route, called The Lakes Challenge was conducted in Cumbria over three days. Setting off from Whitehaven, it cut through some of the most scenic parts of the Lake District and incorporated four passes but throughout it all, the generosity of spirit within the ex-forces cyclists and their determination to succeed never waned. Although all were experienced cyclists they still found The Lakes Challenge a very difficult route but completed it with a smile.

The Lakes Challenge for 2010 raised £5,000 and the team is hoping to better that figure this year. Combat Stress and Help the Heroes charities both have websites where donations can be made by the general public and The Lakes Challenge team for 2011 would greatly appreciate any donations made. Please access: www.combatstress.org.uk and www.helpforheroes.org.uk.

The team is also keen to raise awareness that The Lakes Challenge cycle ride exists and will be taking place again in 2012. For more details about taking part or supporting, email Linda Hilton on lindahilton2@fsmail.net (marking your email The Lakes Challenge).

Linda HILTON

Nethertown Road

St Bees

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