James Whittaker

Cycle Blighty 4 WaterAid

Fundraising for WaterAid
raised of £25,000 target
by 336 supporters
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RCN 288701 (England and Wales) and SC039479 (Scotland)
We work with communities to improve access to clean water & toilets


I am aiming to raise £25,000 for WaterAid to provide clean water to extremely vulnerable communities. There are 785 Million People (that's one in ten) throughout the world who do not have access to clean water. Climate Change and Foreign Aid cuts are making things worse. With your help we can help change the lives of the poorest communities by funding the digging of a well or installing a tap stand in the most needed places. Just take a minute to imagine your life without access to clean water.

About three years ago I had an epiphany. As a self-confessed challenge/rugby playing/cycling junkie I was compelled to read Mark Beaumont’s inspirational memoir on cycling from Cairo to Cape Town.

With my landmark, 50th birthday approaching faster than I was perhaps mentally prepared, I was indulgently plotting my celebrations which would involve my bucket list dream of going on the Lions Tour in South Africa 2021. However, ‘the book’ super charged these plans and with some careful planning and permission from the family, I was drawn to this adventure and decided to take on this epic 10,000km journey from Cairo to Cape Town, culminating with the 2nd Lions Test in Cape Town. The bike and rugby stars were aligned - what a combination!

Conscious of the scale of the challenge I felt a strong calling to give back. After extensive research and learning of how many thousands of deaths could be avoided through improved water accessibility and sanitation throughout the World especially in Africa I decided WaterAid would be a focus.

In the meantime, COVID struck and the pandemic pressed a pause button for us all. However, forever the optimist and needing an outlet from the tedium, I continued to train in isolation in the hope life would turn to normal by Summer 2021.

As we moved into Spring 2021 COVID mutated and continued to ravage through the world, the Cairo to Cape Town challenge began to fade. Homebound and with all this training under my belt I had to adapt.

Still passionate about WaterAid and wanting to assist the beautiful continent of Africa I’d originally planned to cycle through I decided I would set my sights closer to home.

And here we are. I’m aiming to cycle the entire 5,700km coast of Britain over 31 days throughout July, covering approximately 185km a day, starting in and finishing in St Andrews Scotland – with the ever presence of the North Sea, Channel and Irish Sea, to my left, to remind me of my goal to raise funds for WaterAid. 

Clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene should be a normal part of everyone’s daily life. Without all three, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With all three, they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty and change their lives for good.

About the charity


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RCN 288701 (England and Wales) and SC039479 (Scotland)
WaterAid is an international not-for-profit, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Only by tackling these three essentials in ways that last can people change their lives for good.

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+ £5,958.25 Gift Aid
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