An Assistant Principal at Cheshire’s largest Further Education college has embarked on a charity cycle challenge that will push him to the limits as he attempts to become one of the very few people to complete Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again within 18 days, whilst raising vital funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society).
Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Cheshire College, set off on the 1,900 mile cycle ride today (Friday 16th July) with an aim to complete the full route in 18 days and raise £6,000 for the MS Society in the process.
Commenting on this epic challenge, Mark said: “The average time to complete one length of Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling is 14 days and I’m attempting to get there and back again in just 18 days. I know this ride will test me physically and mentally at every level, but it doesn’t compare to what individuals who live with Multiple Sclerosis and their loved ones have to endure day-in-day-out.
“I have been training for this day for over a year now, gradually increasing the length and incline each time I get out on the bike, and I can’t believe it’s now here. The backing I have received over the past 12 months from companies who have donated food, drink, clothing and equipment to help me has been overwhelming, not to mention the support from staff and learners at Cheshire College.”
Learners at Cheshire College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester have all been supporting Mark’s efforts by hosting a range of fundraising events to help him reach his £6,000 target.
A former professional chef, Mark began his career in restaurant kitchens working alongside world-renowned chefs such as Gary Rhodes before making the move into education 15 years later as a Hospitality lecturer, and still has connections in industry with Michelin-Starred Celebrity Chef, Tom Kerridge, reaching out on social media to send him well wishes for the challenge.
Every academic year Cheshire College get involved in a wide range of events to support charities they’re passionate about and that help some of the most vulnerable people in society and have fundraised for the likes of NSPCC, Cancer Research and Guide Dogs UK alongside the MS Society. The College has also recently signed up in support of the national ‘Good for ME, Good for FE’ campaign, which will create a sustainable programme of community action across the UK and generate £1m of social value with strands such as ‘Foodbank Friday’, the development of corporate and charitable partnerships, and the encouragement of staff volunteering within and outside college communities.
Cheshire College will be keeping their social media channels up to date with the latest news on Mark’s ride throughout the 18-day challenge. To donate quickly, safely and securely to the MS Society, click here to visit Mark’s JustGiving page.