A TEACHER from Rugby cycled all the way to Syria and back to help save lives in the war-torn country – and then kept pedalling.
A year ago, Avon Valley School deputy head Darren Walden set himself the challenge of cycling 5,480 miles – the equivalent distance from his home in Warwick to the conflict-stricken city of Aleppo and back again – in just 12 months to help the British Red Cross’s lifesaving work in Syria.
But when he smashed through that mileage in early September, he upped his target to a staggering 7,000 miles and kept going.
Throughout the year, Darren’s friends, family, colleagues and students have sponsored him to the tune of £2,400.
He said: “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported me and made donations to my charity fundraising last year. I managed to raise a fantastic amount of money that I know will be well used in supporting those less fortunate than ourselves.
“Everyone has been extremely kind and generous with support, encouragement, positivity and donations. After a short rest, I am now back on the bike and looking for some new challenges!”
Head teacher Alison Davies said: “Darren set himself, and beat, a very ambitious target while raising a wonderful sum of money for the British Red Cross. At the beginning of his challenge he delivered an assembly to our students which highlighted the work done by the charity.”
The Syria conflict is now in its seventh year. Over 6.3million people have fled their homes because of fighting and another 4.9million now live as refugees in neighbouring countries and beyond. The Red Cross and partners the Red Crescent aim to provide food, shelter and medical care to those affected.
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Darren-Walden1 to donate.