En route, I will be stopping at various points, including London City, then heading down over the channel, through Amiens in Northern France which is the official Twin Town for Darlington, progressing south into Paris, circling the Eiffel Tower before finishing through the Champs Elysee. I will then return to Darlington taking in Birmingham, Manchester and Cumbria.
I aim to make this trip cost neutral, which means 100% of donations received can be forwarded to the chosen charity/charities. The exact route is yet to be determined and I am open to the idea of visiting places, on request, that tie into the trip and would benefit the donations.
To make this happen, I am looking for ways to cut back all costs, meaning I will be advertising to friends, family and the local community to donate or loan me items that I will be needing along the way including a one man pop up tent, sleeping bag and so on. I am also aiming to sweet talk the operators of the Euro tunnel to allow me to skip the £16 fare, and while very ambitious, I will also be looking for generous individuals, wherever possible to feed me along the 1200 mile return trip.
The purpose of this trip is to raise as much money as possible for the charity, but also to raise awareness of how we can contribute positively to charity/community without great personal expense to ourselves. I am currently in talks with the British Heart Foundation who I would like to be the main beneficiary of the trip. I suffer from Atrial Tachycardia that is supposed to be managed via Beta Blockers. I do not take the medication because of the adverse effects it has on my life and wellbeing. I am awaiting further consultation regarding an operation that should permanently fix the problem but I do feel that more understanding is needed about heart problems in young people, treatment options and the pros/cons of medication etc.
My employer has a CSR (Corporate and Social Responsibility) policy that recognises the importance of giving back to these two areas. They will be providing a financial reward to ‘Win 4 Youth’ for every 5km I cycle and as such, will be featured on any marketing/clothing that I will wear along the trip. I would also be seeking an additional sponsor or sponsors who would like to assist financially (not to myself but in the form of a donation to the charity) or assist with the donation of items that will aid me on my trip. I have sourced my bike but will be needing cycle wear, and a GPS/Sat Nav system and am currently contacting manufacturers to gain some support.