Cyclists get in saddle to save lives

A FUNDRAISING team is gearing up to ride hundreds of miles from one end of Britain to the other in a bid to save lives.Raising money for The Evening Star's Lifesaver appeal, the four-strong squad are preparing for the gruelling challenge of riding the 875 mile trek from Lands End to John O'Groats.

A FUNDRAISING team is gearing up to ride hundreds of miles from one end of Britain to the other in a bid to save lives.

Raising money for The Evening Star's Lifesaver appeal, the four-strong squad are preparing for the gruelling challenge of riding the 875 mile trek from Lands End to John O'Groats.

The team, who all work for the Star's production department is not new to charity work and have raised thousands for worthy causes in the past, paying for three electric hospital beds for Addenbrooke's neuroscience ward, and a specialised wheelchair for a sufferer of muscular dystrophy.

The squad, made up of Paul Bartlett, 50, Colin Shanks, 54, Julian Farrow, 34, and Nathan Miller, 29, all of Ipswich, began their training in early December and are preparing to ride for two four-hour sessions a day with only a half hour break in between.

The challenge begins on June 9 and is expected to take around a week.

This time, four charities including the Lifesaver appeal are set to benefit, as well as the Alzheimer's Society, St Helena Hospice and John Grooms.

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The Lifesaver Appeal aims to raise £22,000 for a cardiac ultrasound machine for Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency department.

The machine will quickly help doctors diagnose acute cardiac conditions, including heart failure, and is expected to help around 1,000 people every year.

Mr Bartlett, of Belstead Avenue, Ipswich said: “We're very much up for the challenge.

“Everything is going well. So far we've had no injuries or illness and we are hoping to be in peak condition.”

The journey will be led by Mr Miller, a qualified cycle coach. A charity dance has also been organised at Bridgeward Social Club in Austin Street on May 5 with all proceeds being added to the fundraising total. Tickets are available by calling 01473 681954.

Contributions can be made by cheque, sent to 16 Belstead Avenue, Ipswich, IP2 8NP or online at www.cycleend2end.co.uk.

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