Cycle trek for charity

Philip Midwinter, 65, from Wisborough Green, hopes to ride from Land's End to John O'Groats in 18 days for the Samaritans.
Philip Midwinter, 65, from Wisborough Green, hopes to ride from Land's End to John O'Groats in 18 days for the Samaritans.

A recently retired Wisborough Green man has set himself a 900-mile challenge by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 18 days.

Philip Midwinter, 65, from Kirdford Road, chairman of the Horsham and Crawley Samaritans branch, is due to start on Sunday September 16.

He said that it was something he had always wanted to do and he was seizing the chance while he still had the opportunity to do so.

He explained: “I have always wanted to do this and I thought lets do it while I still can.”

Since it is his last year as chairman of the branch after two years he thought it was a fitting time, while also raising money for the Samaritans, where he gives his time as a listening volunteer.

Philip’s involvement with the Samaritans dates back to the 1980s when he lived in Oxford, and has raised £1,755 so far on the way to a target of £5,000.

He added: “I want to start now, and I’m feeling it’s ok to do 60 miles, but to do it every day!

“I’m feeling very confident, and I’m hoping the weather is going to be a on my side.”

His wife Alison will be accompanying him on the road rather than by bike, offering him physical and emotional support along the way.

He said: “Needless to say I have told her this is her annual holiday – what more could she want.”

He added: “I shall take it a day at a time and hope to finish inside my target given a fair wind and not too many break downs of either my bike or me.

“The Samaritans are available 24 hours per day to provide confidential and emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including those which may lead to suicide.”

Donations to Horsham & Crawley Samaritans in support of Philip can be made at mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/philipmidwinter