a GROUP of novice cyclists have ridden more than 260 miles from Scotland to Somercotes to raise cash for Help for Heroes.
The group, led by Norman Fazackerley, all work for NHS Supply Chain and it was to its Somercotes headquarters they returned on Friday, June 17, to coincide with the company’s 25th anniversary.
The trek raised over £3,500 – a sum which DHL, the company that now owns NHS Supply Chain, says it will match. Norman, 52, originally from South Normanton, said: “Everybody’s thrilled. It was very hard at the time. We wanted all the money we raised to go to the charity so we camped to keep costs down. But we’re starting to walk properly again now!”
The team comprised Norman’s son Michael, 22, Paul Fisher, 61, Dean Marsden, 35, and Dave Marsh, 35, who were supported by van driver Brian Hoskinson, 50.
Everyone involved has some connection with the Armed Forces and a good reason for supporting the campaign.
Norman explained: “I did 24 years in the Armed Forces with the logistics corps. My eldest son, Daniel, is in the RAF and he’s done quite a few tours of Afghanistan. My youngest son, Michael, has just joined the TA. Paul Fisher’s three sons are in the Royal Marines. My brother was also in the Army and my nephew is in the Royal Signals – so there are quite a few military connections.
“It’s obviously close to my heart and we’ve supported it. It’s a good cause and you can’t do enough for the people who are serving and those who come home and need care and attention.”
The group set off on their gruelling journey from Jedburgh at 9am on Monday, and camped overnight in Edinburgh, Corbridge, Scotch Corner and Garforth.
“We all had sausage and bacon cobs in the morning and then were out on the road for 9am. We were covering about 60 miles each day on average. The first three days were quite hilly to say the least and we had heavy rain and hail on the Wednesday, but it didn’t deter us.
“None of us have ever done any real cycling before. I thought of the idea last year. We all went out and purchased bikes and started training at the back end of January.”