When Oliver Maughan signed up to cycle from Blackpool Tower to the Eiffel Tower, raising funds and awareness about local carers, he knew he had a fundraising task ahead of him.
However, the Lancashire police officer need not have worried, as the dedicated young volunteers of Blackpool and Fylde Police cadets stepped up, or should that be pedalled up, and took part in a 24-hour cycle marathon at Tesco Extra on Clifton Drive, Marton.
Splitting into teams, Oliver and the cadets took it in turns to cycle non-stop for 24 hours on a spinning bike loaned by Blackpool Council’s leisure services team, who were also be on hand with healthy lifestyle advice and a spare bike for shoppers who fancied having a quick pedal themselves.
The 24-hour challenge started at 4pm on Friday, January 4 and finished the following day, with the group raising an impressive £680 during the event.
Oliver said: “When I first heard about the Tower to Tower cycle challenge I thought it would be a fantastic personal journey to go on but now I have met the team at Blackpool Carers Centre and learned so much about the work they do I’ve become even more determined to raise as much as possible.
“The centre is an incredible charity who do so much for a largely hidden part of society and the volunteer cadets have thoroughly enjoyed learning about what the team do and have really thrown themselves into the fundraising efforts too.”
Terry Hodkinson, head of fund-raising at Blackpool Carers Centre, said: “I was astounded to hear about the challenge these dedicated young people are taking on for such a great cause.
“Anyone can have their lives turned upside down at anytime when they unexpectedly become a carer for a loved one and it often leads to making life-changing decisions, that’s when our support and advice can help.”
Oliver and around 30 other intrepid cyclists have pledged to raise at least £2,000 each for local charity Blackpool Carers’ Centre by cycling the 500 miles between Blackpool and Paris in just five days in September.
The ride will take place from September 23 to September 28, with three days riding in the UK and two in France.
The fundraising package includes daily lunch and water stops, baggage transfer, celebration meal, accommodation, roadside assistance, and bike return from Paris.
The event will be fully managed by organisers Chapeau Events Ltd.
Blackpool Carers Centre is the single point of access for young carers in Blackpool and currently offers support to over 1,000 local young people and 6,000 in total.
Anyone interested in finding out more about taking part in the Tower to Tower bike ride, Blackpool Carers Centre or pledging support, can or email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (01253) 393748 or pop into Beaverbrooks House, on Newton Drive, Blackpool.
* A special event to mark Young Carers’ Awareness Day will take place from 5.30pm until 7.30pm on January 31 at Beaverbrooks House on Newton Drive. To attend, call Kerry Dalton on (01253) 393748.