Brian trains it to Cuba

OFFICE worker Brian Bird's routine trip to take a client to Ipswich railway station ended with an unexpected ticket to far away climes – a journey to Cuba!During the trip up the A14, he was persuaded to take part in a major charity event – a sponsored cycle ride – to raise funds for homeless charity Shelter.

By Richard Cornwell

OFFICE worker Brian Bird's routine trip to take a client to Ipswich railway station ended with an unexpected ticket to far away climes – a journey to Cuba!

During the trip up the A14, he was persuaded to take part in a major charity event – a sponsored cycle ride – to raise funds for homeless charity Shelter.

Brian, contracts manager at Portland Direct Marketing Ltd, a direct marketing company based in the Old Dairy in Victoria Street, Felixstowe, said a trip to Cuba had been the last thing on his mind.

Part of his job is to pick up clients when they arrive at Ipswich and then take them to catch their trains back later in the day.

He said it was when he took Julie Rosekilly from Shelter back to the station she challenged him to go on the group's cycle ride in Cuba to raise funds for them.

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Brian took up the challenge and is currently "in training" for the 230-mile event, pedalling the streets of Felixstowe, for the trip next February.

The ride will start and finish in Havana, with the route taking in the dramatic scenery of the Vinales Valley and La Guira National Park and following quiet rural roads through a pastoral Cuba not often seen by tourists.

In order for Brian to take part though he has to raise the minimum sponsorship of £2,300 and he has arranged a number of events to help.

The first of these was a buffet dance in October and the second event takes place on Saturday, November 23, a general knowledge quiz compiled and presented by Paul Voller, a colleague of Brian, who presents several quizzes for the Ipswich Town Supporters each season.

Teams of up to four people are invited to enter the quiz, which is being held at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club and costs £2.50 per person. There will be refreshments available during the evening.

Teams can just turn up on the night and further information is available from Brian on 01394 285678 during working hours.

WEBLINKS: www.shelter.org.uk

www.portland-direct.com

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