500km bike challenge boosts funds for alcohol awareness

TERRY Martin, a keen cyclist and trustee of the charity, alcoHELP, has arrived back from a gruelling 500km bike ride across Cambodia and Vietnam to boost vital funds for the Castle Hedingham based charity.

Raising �1,750 will enable alcoHELP to visit more schools in the Dunmow area by delivering programmes designed to communicate the dangers of alcohol consumption.

Having already delivered workshops to over 50,000 school aged children in Essex, trustees and recovered alcoholics, Terry and Debby Peirson, hope to visit an extra 10,000 Essex school children this year.

Monies raised from Terry’s ride, coupled with a recent grant of �9,950 from The Big Lottery Fund, will certainly help achieve this goal.

“Alarmingly, more than 40 per cent of children who start drinking before the age of 13 will go on to abuse alcohol or to become alcoholics at some point in their lives. In a class of thirty 13-14 year olds an average of 10 children will already be drinking, which makes this a very real statistic,” said Terry.

“The funds raised from the cycle challenge will enable us to deliver more alcoHELP programmes by collaborating with other partners in and around the Dunmow area. It will also help keep our workshops up to date in respect of current medical evidence relating to alcohol abuse.”

Over a period of seven days, the challenge tested Terry’s physical strength to the limit. He cycled anything up to 100km per day along dirt tracks, potholed roads and fields enduring extreme weather conditions from torrential rain to high humidity and temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.

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In total, 22 people took part in the ride. Coming from various walks of life they have all said that they would get involved in something like this again.

“Everyone had a brilliant experience and the bond created throughout the group was amazing. In fact we have all signed up to take part in the Stroke Association’s ‘Bridges of London’ bike ride on Sunday May 13,” said Terry.

“This is my sixth fundraising cycle trip for alcoHELP and I hope to do many more. I have been to India, Egypt, Mexico, Russia and China. Maybe Africa or South America next.”