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Two charity bike rides, £270,000 raised and a proposal in Paris

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It’s known as the ‘City of Love’ and Paris certainly lived up to its reputation for one Kent couple following a charity bike ride for Action Medical Research.

Shortly after completing the 300 mile ‘Ziggurat’ cycle from Coulsdon to the French capital, Neil Frost, Site Manager for Brett Landscaping at Cliffe, Sturry & Oare popped the question to his partner Karen Davey!

The happy couple: Karen Davey and Neil Frost pose in front of the Eiffel Tower following 'Ziggurat'

“I took the ring with me to Paris with the intention of proposing sometime after completing the ride”, said the 42-year-old. “I waited until after the celebration meal on the final night in Paris. Ideally I would have asked as we arrived on our bikes but I had nowhere to hide the ring in my lycra cycling stuff and didn’t want to steal the moment from everyone’s amazing achievement!”

And fortunately Karen, 43, a Management Accountant at Brett Group said ‘yes’: “I was completely shocked, I had absolutely no idea that he’d been planning this! It was a very romantic proposal and we’re both so happy – now we’ve just got the wedding to plan for!”

The happy couple, who live together in Whitstable, will aim to tie the knot either next year or Summer 2019.

2017 marked the 18th year of the annual Action ‘London to Paris’ bike ride with 90 cyclists riding from Crystal Palace to Paris between 19-23 July.

This year also saw the launch of ‘Ziggurat’ – a similar challenge for folk from the construction and built environment sector. Designed and delivered by the highly experienced Action Medical Research cycling team, Ziggurat was also made possible with the support of ride partners Brett Group, Mace, Glendining Highways and Dome Consulting.

The two rides – which both culminated in Paris on the final day of the 2017 Tour de France - have raised over £270,000 for Action.

Head of Events for the charity Emma Morgan said: “We really cannot thank everyone who took part in these rides enough. The atmosphere was just amazing thanks to the infectious enthusiasm from all of the cyclists!

“We must thank our partners Brett Group, Mace, Glendining Highways and Dome Consulting for all they did to help make Ziggurat such a success.

“And finally of course, a massive congratulations from all of us at Action to Karen and Neil who truly helped make this a sportive to remember!”

Action Medical Research 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 conditions including asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.

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To download a photo of Neil and Karen in front of the Eiffel Tower:

To download a group photo of the start of the ‘London to Paris’ ride:
Please credit Colin Baldwin

To download a group photo of the start of ‘Ziggurat’:
Please credit Colin Baldwin

To download some photos of riders:
Please credit Colin Baldwin

To download a group photo of the finish of L2P/Ziggurat:
Please credit Lee Collier

For more information on Action Medical Research, contact Peter Denton, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T: 01403 327480

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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For 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.