Chain reaction: Charles set for epic cycle ride

19th May 2015
Raleigh International balloons at Charles' fundraising event

On May 30th, Charles Sanford will cycle an epic 320km in 16 hours from the birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh in Budleigh Salterton to his final resting place in Westminster, all in memory of his younger brother James (pictured above), who passed away three years ago.

Through their efforts, Charles and his team of 18 cyclists are aiming to raise a staggering £22,000 for Raleigh International. The funds will be used to build an Early Childhood Development centre in Tanzania, in honour of the work that James carried out on his Raleigh expedition in 2002.

“James’ experience of volunteering in Ghana made him extremely happy and helped to mould the resourceful, thoughtful, caring and practical young man we loved”, said Charles. “James travelled extensively in his life, and Ghana retained a special place in his heart.”

Last Friday evening, 200 guests turned out at AFC Wimbledon’s Kingsmeadow stadium for a concert as part of Charles’ fundraising efforts. The event included a raffle, an auction, and a live band, Barrelhouse, three members of which are undertaking the cycle as part of Charles’ team. Following a very successful night, supporters raised a staggering £17,000 to go towards the project.

Raleigh International balloons at Charles' fundraising event

Worldwide, an estimated 200 million children a year fail to meet developmental potential often due to poverty, inadequate learning opportunities, and a lack of basic nutrition. Raleigh volunteers help to build pre-education centres for rural and remote communities, reaching the children and families who have the most need.

In Tanzania, compulsory free education starts at the age of seven. Before primary education, few children attend pre-school education. Early Childhood Development centres provide a space for up to 200 children whom otherwise would not receive education at such a crucial period of their lives.

ECDs provide a place not just for young children to learn, but also to help them integrate with their peers, learn through play and discovery, and develop key skills that are vital for their transition into primary school. Local primary schools tell us that children who previously attended an ECD are much easier to teach, as they are already used to school environments. Communities also benefit because their children will be able to read, write and count at an earlier age, increasing their development at a crucial stage of their lives. Whilst their children are at the ECD, parents will have more time for income-generating activities.

Guests at Charles' fundraising event

We would like to say a huge thank you to everybody involved on Friday evening, for helping to organise a wonderful event and for giving generously towards the project.

Eyes now turn to the big cycle ride on the 30th, and we’ll be sure to let you know how Charles and his team get on!

To find out more about Charles and his team’s efforts, or to help them reach their target by making a donation, visit rideraleigh.net

If you would like to help them reach their target by making a donation, visit Charles’ JustGiving page.

Would you like to raise funds for Raleigh? Get some fundraising inpiration!