A Horsham doctor has biked more than 1,500 miles through the rain in Ireland to raise funds for Russian orphans.
Nigel Hills, of Guildford Road, Horsham, is aiming to raise £10,000 after completing a six-day motorbike ride around the Irish coastline last week.
Before the event the 50-year-old Orchard Surgery GP said: “I’m doing it for Love Russia which is a charity which helps Russian orphans progress from their orphanges into education and getting into work.
“I have got a friend who’s a GP in Crawley who went to Moscow and back last year.
“This year we are circling Ireland, which is 1,000 miles and then 250 miles there and back.
“There are eight riders and we are trying to raise £10,000.”
He explained that within two years of children leaving Russian orphanages, 40 per cent are in prison, 40 per cent are addicted to alcohol or drugs and 11 per cent commit suicide.
Dr Hill’s sponsorship will go towards Love Russia’s Genesis Project which offers orphans the opportunity to be supported through college to help reverse those statistics.
Alex Cooke, from Love Russia, who led the bike ride, said: “The Genesis project started in 2000 with eight students and each student received £50 a month.
“This year we have 99 students receiving the same amount of money.
“Since 2000 we have had 700 students go through the programme and of those we are seeing a 96 per cent rate integrating into society.”
“We work with the directors of colleges, who then choose students because they are aware of their family incomes.
“Directors like taking our students because they work a lot harder than those not on the Genesis project are therefore are model students to others.
“They appreciate that people care.”
He explained that in Russian culture orphans are looked down upon, but Love Russia’s work has enabled them to get into good careers.
“We have got two students who have qualified as lawyers and most go on to do secretarial work and trade work as builders, decorators and plumbers.”
In some cases, the charity funds students after two years in their higher education if they want to do it.
To support Nigel Hills in his challenge to raise £10,000 go to www.justgiving.com/nigel-hill s-giving or visit Orchard Surgery, on Lower Tanbridge Way, Horsham to fill out his sponsorship form.