Followers of DM Thomas Foundation for Young People will know that our supporters have long been in the habit of coming up with creative, unusual and sometimes frankly terrifying challenges, all to raise funds to help us continue our work supporting the health and education of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.
That being said, we were still somewhat surprised last year when a supporter, who had previously cycled from London to Paris to raise funds for the Foundation, contacted us to say that now they were ready to take on a new challenge and suggested they pick up where they left off and cycle from Paris to Geneva. Thus it was that 21 intrepid cyclists, arriving from London, Watford, Dubai, Moscow and South Africa, left Paris on 11 June and cycled into Geneva 4 days, 358 miles, two countries and a mountain range later. As if that wasn’t hard enough, two cyclists also cycled from London to Paris in 24 hours before the main challenge.
As anyone who has ever watched the Tour de France will know, this route not for the faint-hearted. This gargantuan challenge incorporates 358 miles of hard cycling and passage over the Jura Mountain Range, including the notorious Col de la Faucille which has an elevation of 1,323m. Our cyclists endured scorching heat, blisters, falls and even torrential rain (on the last day), to arrive safe and sound into Switzerland. They made a fantastic team and supported each other through the toughest climbs and were always ready at the end of the day with a drink and an impromptu awards ceremony. The team kept friends and family up-to-date via their Everyday Hero blog and via Twitter and Facebook. For more pictures of the trip, please visit our Facebook page.
Our 21 cyclists aimed to raise £2,500 each – a collective target of £52,500 gross – to support the Foundation’s work in improving the education and well-being of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. They surpassed this target before the ride began, and even now donations are still coming. The cyclists have to date received a simply magnificent total of £56,126 from their generous donors, and you can still support their fundraising by clicking here. Through the Foundation individual riders are able to support our charity partners: Montessori, World Bike Relief, The Brain Tumour Charity, Gift of Life, the National Autism Society and Great Ormond Street.
The Foundation would like to thank our wonderful cyclists who were brave enough to take on this incredible feat and who achieved it with such flair: Nicholas Balderson, Hamid Belkebir, Paul Blackmore, Tim Bloomfield, Bradley Boulle, Gordon Coles, Graham Dodd, Gerd Fischer, Celia Geyer, David Hossack, Alan Hutchinson, Hugo James, Francois Kotler, Phillipa Le Roux, Maurice Petignat, Peter Prickett, Matthias Schulthess, Andy Thorne, Christopher Webb, Alan Woolston, and James Wright.
The trip was led by Global Adventure Challenges, and fantastic support was on hand at all times from Alex, Sam, Guy, Ashley and Lawrence.
The Foundation and the cyclists would like to thank the following companies for their generous sponsorship which resulted in such a magnificent total: Halbmond Beds, Quadriga EMEA, Hilton Worldwide, EPR Architects, Sweett Iberia, Canopy by Hilton, County Contractors, Hotstats, Acentic ME, EquinoxEarabia, UTC, Fladgate LLP, Supersigns, Interel, Dexter Moren, Gulf Business Machines, MJA, Vingcard Elsafe, Hypnos Contract Beds, Formica, Novicom, Somerston, Cunningham Mclean, ICA Architects, Infoscape Technologies, Campaign Works, RMG team, Samsotech, EGE carpets, Chelsom, Baltic Signs, Colliers International