Stephen Mansell has done it!
The 57-year-old from Stamford braved scorching temperatures and completed the ‘London-Paris-Geneva’ cycling challenge for children’s charity Action Medical Research.
“It was almost unbearably hot at times” admits Stephen. “The thermometer soared above 40C a few times and so staying hydrated was really important. The camaraderie though was fantastic and we met some amazing people on the trip.”
Stephen has supported Action for many years and became an ambassador for the charity in 2016.
He was joined by close friend Joanne Ness from Birmingham, and the pair called themselves ‘The Invincibles’.
“I think we needed to be invincible during some parts” admits Joanne. “Nothing that a few ice creams and occasional dips in the lake couldn’t sort out though!”
Stephen and Joanne joined around fifty other Action fundraisers when they set off from London on Wednesday 25 July.
They finished in Paris on Saturday 28 July before carrying on to Geneva the following Monday and finally headed home on Friday 3 August.
Their aim was to raise £7,030 for Action but they have already beaten that by four grand. Stephen says they can’t quite believe it:
“We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and would like to thank everyone who kindly donated.
“When I first became aware of Action in 2011 my daughter was pregnant; I now have two healthy granddaughters, Isla and Thea.
“Seeing them grow up has made me appreciate the work Action does all the more. Both Jo and I are absolutely delighted with how much we have been able to raise.”
Action’s Head of Events Emma Morgan said: “Both Stephen and Jo are really passionate supporters of ours and we are so grateful for everything that they have done to help Action.
“The heat was incredible - especially en route to Paris – but everyone coped so well. There was a real camaraderie between all of the cyclists which helped create a really fun atmosphere!
“On behalf of the charity I’d like to thank everyone for their time and dedication; without our amazing supporters we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
Action is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.
The charity is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, epilepsy, asthma, scarlet fever, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
To download photos of Stephen and Joanne in Paris (please credit Lee Collier Photography):
For more information on Action Medical Research contact Peter Denton, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 65 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.
Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.