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Carrow Road target for cycling fund-raisers

PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:11 02 July 2010

The Aviva cyclists line up outside the marble hall to promote their sponsored ride from Carlisle to Norwich.

The Aviva cyclists line up outside the marble hall to promote their sponsored ride from Carlisle to Norwich.

Steve Downes

Making it to Carrow Road in time for kick off is normally a simple enough task - traffic permitting.

But an 11-strong team has made it much more difficult by electing to cycle 300 miles from Carlisle to Norwich to watch Norwich City's final match of the season against the Cumbrians on Saturday.

Making it to Carrow Road in time for kick off is normally a simple enough task - traffic permitting.

But an 11-strong team has made it much more difficult by electing to cycle 300 miles from Carlisle to Norwich to watch Norwich City's final match of the season against the Cumbrians on Saturday.

The pedalling odyssey is designed to raise funds for Norfolk-based charity The Benjamin Foundation.

The team is made up of seven Aviva employees, and Benjamin Foundation workers and supporters including the charity's chief executive Richard Draper.

Aviva recently selected The Benjamin Foundation as its regional charity partner for Norfolk in 2010 and the cycle challenge is the latest in what will be a busy year of fundraising events.

Mr Draper said: “I'm delighted that so many Aviva people are joining the ride, though I am slightly worried they're all younger than me.

“Of course, arriving back at Carrow Road in time to see the Canaries lift the Championship trophy is a big incentive so we'll be powering our pedals all the way.”

The journey will follow four day stages, with the team aiming to average 70 miles and six hours in the saddle, each day. They will be joined on individual stages by other Aviva staff and charity supporters and hope to have a contingent of around 20 cyclists arriving at Carrow Road on the final leg of the journey.

Chris Elliott, senior sponsorship manager with Aviva, said: “With a capacity crowd and a jubilant mood at Carrow Road, next Saturday is sure to be a day of celebration, on the pitch or in the saddle.

“Being able to team up our Norwich City sponsorship with our support of the Foundation as our regional charity partner is a great way to engage both our staff and the community in supporting a good cause.”

The cycling challenge is the primary focus of a month of fundraising activity by The Benjamin Foundation. The charity is appealing for people to 'make a difference in May' by holding their own event or activity.

Fundraising officer Laura Price said: “It could be anything from a silent auction to a cake sale. They don't have to be big events and children are especially encouraged to join in, whether through holding a toy sale or doing a sponsored silence.

“It's an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the level of need that exists in Norfolk. We live in a beautiful, rural area but what looks idyllic on the surface often hides a great deal of poverty and brings additional problems related to access and isolation.”

The Benjamin Foundation has expanded its services significantly over the last 18 months, in response to local needs, and now operates county-wide, providing support in schools, youth centres and cafes, special needs groups and helping young homeless people through supported accommodation units and a resettlement scheme.

t To sponsor the cycle challenge, visit www.mycharitypage.com/RichardDraper.

t Are you taking part in an unusual charity event? Call Steve Downes on 01603 772495 or email steve.downes@archant.co.uk.

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