My name is Peter Hubbard and I love, amongst other things, cycling, mountains, travel and music.
I'm going to pedal my bike the length of South America from Tierra del Fuego to the Caribbean.
The main reason why I'm heading off on this trip is because I want to. It is also important for me that, on the trip, I can act as a cheerleader for music and cycling.
I also hope that I can raise a bit of money for an organisation called the Mother's Union. I will try to explain why.
I’m a big believer that charity starts at home. Think globally, act locally. One of the best practitioners of this principle is my mother, Alison Hubbard. My mum has spent a life time caring for people through nursing, mothering and volunteering. She became a member of the Mothers' Union when my family moved to Hambledon in the early 1980s and has been actively involved in their community work projects ever since.
Like all the best ideas, the Mothers' Union is deceptively simple. It is a worldwide network of volunteers who are united in their commitment to supporting marriage and family life. But they don’t just sit around chatting and drinking tea. Oh no. Instead, they are involved in many projects in their local communities. These include running small scale farming initiatives in Uganda, lobbying for political change, and setting up family support groups in prisons around the UK. In fact my Mum has become quite a regular visitor to her local prison, but one of her most passionate projects has been the Away From It All holiday scheme.
AFIA, as it is known, is another simple idea: give a holiday to people under stress. I first became aware of its existence when Mum asked me to come along and help for the week. My help, such as it was, pretty much went as far as making sand castles and playing games with the kids. Slowly it dawned on me that the mother of these kids probably hadn't had any time to herself since her children where born, and how revitalising such a simple holiday was for her. I learned that disadvantaged families are often isolated and ignored. An AFIA holiday acts as a chance to get to meet other people in the same boat, often out in the smoking area. Having a friend on the end of a phone can really help. Fundraising and organising the week long holiday is a year long commitment, but a thoroughly rewarding one, undertaken by volunteers like my Mum.
Be under no illusions. Every penny of the money raised by the Mothers' Union is well spent.