Horsham four to cycle more than 900 miles in a week

From left, Mark Kennard, Nicky Hayes, Hazel Lamb, Jeremy Rowley, Samantha Toner
From left, Mark Kennard, Nicky Hayes, Hazel Lamb, Jeremy Rowley, Samantha Toner

Four people from Horsham are planning to cycle more than 900 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats in seven days to raise funds for local homelessness charity, Ark, based in United Reformed Church, Springfield Road.

They plan to cover 152 miles through Scotland in one day and for one team member, it will be her first long-distance ride.

One of the cyclists, Jeremy Rowley, of Forest, said of the trip: “It’s an undertaking at any time but to try and achieve it in seven days - two to three days under the average - makes an even more daunting task.”

He added that day one going up and down the Cornish hills from Land’s End to Exeter will be ‘more punishing’ than the 152-mile-day.

None of the four have a direct connection with Ark, which is entirely funded by public donations.

Hazel Lamb, a freelance social consultant and ‘jack of all trades’ volunteer at Ark, will follow the cyclists during their journey with a support van.

Jeremy said: “It started off as a personal challenge more than anything, till Hazel approached us to ask about supporting the local charity.

“It’s much more interesting helping out with a local charity than a nation-wide one.”

He added: “It would be hard to say we’ve had enough of this because there’s the charity connection now, so it does add a bit of extra pressure but it also gives us a lot more incentive.”

Hazel was appointed as the Night Shelter Coordinator from last November to March.

She said: “In this affluent area, to be destitute as a single person is to be invisible, passed by on the street and with no right to public services.”

She added: “Ark needs to be open for many more hours, especially as winters are becoming so harsh, to have dedicated accommodation and be fully staffed with trained mentors and volunteers - so it would be wonderful to see a really enthusiastic response from the public to the tremendous effort involved in this cycling challenge!”

The cycle will take place from September 26 to August 1, 2013.

To support the team’s fundraising efforts, you can visit their JustGiving page.