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On their bikes to help the birds

PUBLISHED: 12:51 07 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

TWO RSPCA volunteers are preparing for a marathon bike ride to raise money for a wildlife hospital that treated oil-coated swans from Suffolk.

Stephen Read and Dennis Kell are set for a 133-mile bike ride to raise money and show their appreciation for the work of the East Winch RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, in Norfolk.

TWO RSPCA volunteers are preparing for a marathon bike ride to raise money for a wildlife hospital that treated oil-coated swans from Suffolk.

Stephen Read and Dennis Kell are set for a 133-mile bike ride to raise money and show their appreciation for the work of the East Winch RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, in Norfolk.

It treated dozens of swans plucked from the oil-contaminated waters of the River Orwell and Stour estuary in March and also treated seals that were victims of the distemper outbreak.

Half of the money raised from the bike ride will be given to the RSPCA Martlesham Animal Home, where they are both volunteers.

Printer Mr Read, 48, of Galway Avenue, Ipswich, said: "We're both keen cyclists so we thought it would be a good idea to enjoy our past time and raise some money at the same time.

"After the events of early this year, we thought it would be nice to raise some money for them and us. They do a quality job up there."

Cliff Lane Primary School teacher Mr Kell, 47, of Pheasant Rise, Copdock, added: "It's not just about raising money, but making people aware that a lot of the wildlife casualties from around here are treated in East Winch."

For Mr Kell, a former RSPCA inspector, the fundraising effort is the second time he has helped the wildlife hospital. In 1990, he took part in a sponsored run to help raise money to set up the hospital.

The route will take the pair along the east coast and then west past Norwich and on to East Winch, near Kings Lynn.

Sponsorship is being collected for the bike ride, which is planned for May 17 and 18 with an overnight stop in Norwich.

Donations can be left at RSPCA Martlesham Animal Home, in Mill Lane; RSPCA Charity Shop, in Carr Street, Ipswich; and RSPCA 35a St George's Street, Ipswich.

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