Charing Cross cycle challenge raises record funds for Samaritans
Teams of staff from a range of London based firms put their pedal power to the test to ride 247 miles for Samaritans in a static bike ride challenge at Charing Cross station.
More than 150 volunteers from Network Rail, Pizza Pilgrims, TORI Global, Repucom, Land Sheriffs, Bank of England and the Central London branch of Samaritans rode in 30-minute stints from 7am to 7pm on one of seven bikes on the station concourse, cheered on by their team mates.
For much of the day, the Bank of England, Repucom and Pizza Pilgrims were neck and neck on the leader board, but it was Repucom that broke the 247-mile barrier first in just under 10 hours. The distance reflects the 24/7 availability of Samaritans’ services. Volunteers are there round the clock every single day of the year, by phone, email and face to face for anyone who’s struggling to cope.
In total, the riders clocked up a staggering 2009 miles, the equivalent of riding from London to Cyprus. The charity relies almost entirely on donations and, with sponsorship from colleagues, friends and family, and generous donations from passers-by, the event is set to raise well over £10,000.
Alice Morton from Network Rail South East said: “The camaraderie was incredible, with every rider giving their all for Samaritans. We’d like to thank everyone who showed their support or made a donation on their journey through the station. The event is a great way to raise awareness of Samaritans’ services, as well as vital funds to ensure they’re there for anyone that needs to talk.”
Travellers using the station’s cloakroom facilities were encouraged to ‘give a pound’ when they ‘spent a penny’, with the normal 30p fee waived to encourage donations.
Jon Stainer, Managing Director of the winning team, sport and entertainment agency Repucom, said: “I’m proud of all our riders, not just for beating the competition but for giving up their time to raise funds for Samaritans, whose expert listeners help people deal with all kinds of challenges. When you feel you can’t talk to friends or family, Samaritans are there, whoever you are and whatever life has done to you.”
Much needed drinks and snacks for the cyclists were donated by BLK Beverages and Nudie Snacks.
Samaritans’ Fundraising Manager, Beth Simons said: “This has been a team effort in every sense of the word. We have been bowled over by the generosity of those who have ridden, sponsored and donated so that Central London Samaritans can be there for anyone living, working or travelling in the capital.”
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place to talk for anyone who is struggling to cope. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
You can support Central London Samaritans by making a donation here:
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For more information, please contact Samaritans’ Press Office on 020 8394 8300 or email email@example.com. A range of photographs of the event are available for publication.
Attached photo: Marcela Kopytko from the winning team, sport and entertainment agency Repucom.
Notes to Editors
- The Cycle of Support event took place in the main concourse area at Charing Cross Station from 0700 to 1900 on Monday 16th November 2015
- Last year Samaritans’ 21,200 volunteers responded to more than 5.3 million calls for help, by phone, email, text, letter and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and ROI.
- Central London Samaritans is based at 46 Marshall St, London, W1F 9BF. Find out more about the work of the branch here: http://www.samaritans.org/branches/central-london-samaritans