Sheffield was celebrating more of its sporting heroes this week when 30 students and volunteers tackled the Yorkshire hills, cycling from Sheffield to Middlesbrough. The group clocked 130 miles and raised money for local cycling charity RideforEric and the SWFC Community Programme.
Organised through the National Citizen Service which is run by the SWFC Community programme, at Sheffield College, the students were tasked with organising the Hills2Boro event as part of their social action project.
Trustees of RideforEric Karen Codling and Eamonn Hunt, along with Charlotte Faulkner were involved in planning and organisation of the ride. As part of the RideforEric objectives, a £3,000 contribution was made by the charity to provide equipment and resources to make the event possible. The ethos of RideforEric is to highlight and promote safe cycling through events like this, whilst further raising funds and at the same time training a group of new ambassadors to strengthen the future of the charity.
Karen explained how the ride came about “Hills2Boro was born from me being a Sheffield Wednesday fan and Eric supporting ‘the Boro’. He once proudly cycled from one destination to the other in a single day and this memory gave me the inspiration for the ride and a chance to promote safer cycling to a new audience.”
Karen was amazed by the support she received for the ride, including from her employer national law firm Irwin Mitchell, who offered to sponsor the jerseys of the Hills2Boro bike riders. Neil Whiteley, who heads up Irwin Mitchell’s #SaferJourneys campaign, said “It’s clear that more needs to be done to educate everyone on the possible dangers of cycling and remind people how they can stay safe – fundraising from this event will make this possible and we are proud to support RideforEric and the Hills2Boro cyclists.”
Eamonn Hunt whose company VeryCreative Group provide the technical and logistical back up for RideforEric events and the Hills2Boro said “This is a great example of how RideforEric creates events that have a legacy. The students that we enabled to participate in this event, have accomplished a massive personal achievement whilst promoting the objectives of RideforEric, and the NCS. Some of the riders are now poised to participate in the organisation and delivery of RideforEric 2016, which will be another great achievement to put on their CVs. These guys are great ambassadors for the NCS scheme, and for RideeforEric.”
The care home group Hill Care also offered their support for the event by sponsoring the students’ overnight accommodation, as well as the Managing Director Wendy Waddicor and Estates Manager Anthony Disney joining the students for the last 30 miles of the journey.
Wendy said "Hill Care has been working with the NCS students from both Middlesbrough and Sheffield, so when we heard about the cycle ride to raise awareness and funds for charity RideforEric, I was extremely keen to get involved."
Luqman Ajaz was one of the students who took part in the event. “It’s been a privilege for me to be a part of such a great event and I can’t thank everyone enough for the opportunity” he said, adding “I enjoyed every second of the bike ride and I’ve learned lots of new things about how to be a safe cyclist. Overall, it’s been a great experience for me!”
Lucy Shuttleworth NCS Manager at Sheffield Wednesday said “It’s amazing that the students have helped organise and produce such a huge social action project for such a worthy cause. The spirit and dedication that the young people have shown is remarkable and hopefully this project will only get bigger and better for the following years of NCS and promote cycle safety in the wider community.”