Rail Staff Ride 365 Miles For Samaritans In St Pancras Station Challenge

Staff from five different train companies are teaming up at St Pancras International in London on Thursday 14 May to cycle 365 miles for Samaritans, without leaving the station.

Up to 40 riders will take turns to pedal on one of three static bikes for 30 minutes each, aiming to cycle a total of 365 miles in just 10 hours. The distance has been chosen to reflect the 365 days a year that Samaritans’ volunteers are available round the clock to help anyone who is struggling.

The turbo challenge is being led by East Midlands Trains Head of Operations Strategy and keen cyclist, Darren Ward. He’s hoping commuters and travellers will get behind the cause.

“Every penny raised will go to Samaritans to support the incredible work they do. Life is full of challenges and sometimes, even with friends and family around you, it helps to know you can talk to someone in confidence about whatever’s getting to you. Samaritans provides that space round the clock, every day of the year.”

The riders have volunteered for the bikeathon from Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway, FirstGroup Great Western, London Midland, East Midlands Trains and the British Transport Police.

Samaritans’ Fundraising Officer, Joe Curl, is hoping to drum up some musical accompaniment to power their pedalling, by encouraging commuters to play tunes throughout the ten-hour endurance test on St Pancras Station’s ‘street pianos’.

“There are a couple of pianos that anyone can turn up and play not far from where the static bikes will be. We’re hoping passers-by will play, cheer and even dance if they want to, to inspire our riders to reach their goal.

Samaritans relies almost entirely on donations. Thanks to the phenomenal efforts of all the St Pancras riders we’ll not only be raising awareness of our services, but also ensuring we’re there for people 365 days a year, wherever they need us and whatever life’s done to them.”

Network Rail Customer Service and Performance Advisor, Hayley Bull, says staffs are keen to promote awareness of Samaritans’ work. “It provides an invaluable service to so many people who need support. It has helped us enormously to develop our work in this area, thanks to their great expertise, empathy and tenacity.”

You can text SAMS15 £5 to 70070 to donate to this event and read more about Darren Ward’s fundraising for Samaritans here: www.ukvirginmoneygiving.com/BonkersBikers

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For more information, please contact the Samaritans’ Press Office on 020 8394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org

Location:

The location of the event at St Pancras International is on the lower level, between the Eurostar check-in and the ‘up’ escalator that gives access to Platforms 1-4.  Look out for the following shops: Rituals home and body products, Pink menswear and LK Bennett shoes.

Photography:

Permissions are in place for photography at the event. Cycle for Samaritans participants will also be available for interview.

Notes to Editors

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 116 123 (ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.