Island cycle challenge raises thousands for African orphans

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A charity cycling quartet completed an epic 150-mile journey four hours ahead of schedule to raise £12,000 for orphaned children in Malawi.

Mark Hutchinson (48) and Peter Wood (40), from Bishopbriggs, saddled up alongside friends Calum MacLennan and Sandy MacDougall to complete a gruelling route through the Western Isles earlier this month.

They battled sweltering temperatures, midges and tough climbs to successfully cycle from Castlebay on the Isle of Barra to the ‘Butt’ on the far north coast of the Isle of Lewis.

They were aided every step of the way by Peter’s father Derek, who followed in a car with supplies and camping equipment.

Derek is a key figure in charity ECRAD, which stands for ‘Empowerment, Counselling, Relief and Development’ and inspired the island bike ride.

The money will go towards supporting the estimated one million HIV/Aids orphans in the poverty-stricken African country of Malawi.

In particular it will help fund a much-needed car, which will help give children access to crucial education and medical resources, and a maize milling machine to allow communities to make their own flour.

Mark said: “It’s all been worth it to support such a worthy charity, which Peter’s dad has very much been the driving force behind.”

If you would like to add to Mark and his team’s fundraising total just go to www.give.net/ecradcyclechallenge where you can make a donation.

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