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Epic charity cycling challenge will see junior doctors pedal across Europe

PUBLISHED: 18:26 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:53 30 April 2018

Junior doctors set off on epic cycle ride across Europe for charity. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Junior doctors set off on epic cycle ride across Europe for charity. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Five junior doctors are setting off on an epic journey – pedalling more than 3,000km and even crossing the Alps – to reach refugees in urgent need of medical help.

The friends have been taking part in intensive fitness training in the run up to their epic challenge. Holly Andrews (second from left) will join the group in a month's time, due to work commitments. Picture: ELEANOR SHONEThe friends have been taking part in intensive fitness training in the run up to their epic challenge. Holly Andrews (second from left) will join the group in a month's time, due to work commitments. Picture: ELEANOR SHONE

Former Ipswich School pupil Eleanor Shone, from Harkstead, will be swapping her hospital uniform for cycling shorts as she joins friends Harrison Stubbs, Holly Andrews, Olivia Pittman and Megan Fileman on the trip across Europe.

Fresh from several weeks of intensive training – and with new diplomas in tropical medicine in tow – four of the five will embark on their journey from Harwich tonight.

Ms Andrews will join them in a month after carrying out work commitments in Scotland.

The gruelling cycling challenge, due to take two months, will take them across Germany, Austria, the Alps and the Balkan states before ending in Greece – where they plan to volunteer at a refugee camp.

Four of the five started the epic journey last night, and their team mate Holly Andrews will be joining them in a month's time. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWNFour of the five started the epic journey last night, and their team mate Holly Andrews will be joining them in a month's time. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“We’re all really excited and also a bit daunted – it’s a long way but it is totally worth it,” said Ms Shone, who is 26.

“We’ve been doing a lot of training and fundraising, so it’s been a long build up and we can’t wait to just get on our bikes and get started now.”

Together, the group have already collected £10,000 for two organisations – Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Lothian Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, a cause close to their hearts.

One member, Megan Fileman, is taking on the challenge despite recently being diagnosed with the illness.

Their trip will take them more than 3,000km across Europe. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWNTheir trip will take them more than 3,000km across Europe. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“The journey will be gruelling but not as difficult as those faced by many refugees, who are helped by MSF,” Ms Shone added.

“We want to raise awareness of the crisis with this challenge and make the vital work MSF do every day recognised.

“Megan is coming with us on the trip, her treatment has allowed her to keep fit and active.

“The centre have been great in supporting her.”

They also plan to conquer the Alps on their way. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWNThey also plan to conquer the Alps on their way. From left to right: Harrison Stubbs, Olivia Pittman, Megan Fileman and Elenor Shone. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Once the team – who all work in hospitals – reach their planned destination, they will spend time working with non-government organisation DocMobile.

The German-based group helps to provide medical care for those who would otherwise have none.

Follow the cycling team’s progress on Twitter or track their journey by visiting this link.

Donate to their fundraising page here.


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