A RETIRED firefighter and cyclist is taking fundraising up a gear this month by doing a 101 mile static bike ‘London to Paris cycle’ challenge.
Simon Baker will be marking his 60th birthday with an epic four-day, 311-mile cycle this summer and is hoping to make a ‘wheel’ difference by raising vital funds for Acorns Children’s Hospice.
But first the father-of-two is going that extra mile to raise awareness of his chosen charity by cycling a third of the distance at his local Virgin Active gym in Solihull next Monday, January 17.
This launch event is expected to take him more than seven hours to complete.
“I’ve had a real soft spot for Acorns in my heart for over two decades now,” said Simon.
“It’s not until people need the facilities and services that Acorns offers that they truly appreciate the exceedingly good work they do.
“It’s astounding work and I want to get it out there and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Simon is no stranger to fundraising and has been supporting Acorns, his local children’s hospice, for more than two decades.
He and brother Mark are regular visitors to Acorns in Birmingham as part of Midlands Scooters’ annual toy run.
But he decided to get back into the saddle to help fund the charity’s work, when the 100-mile Velo Birmingham and Midlands pedaled past his home in Solihull.
The event inspired him to take on his own 100-mile cycle from his home to Gloucester Quays, which saw him raise over £3,000 for Acorns.
Since then, Simon has now completed two long-distance rides in just the last 12 months – but never on a spin bike.
Simon is hoping to raise £2,000 to help fund the charity’s care for life limited and life threatened children and young people. He’s already on his way having raised over £1,100.
Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for life limited and life threatened children and support for their families from its three hospices, based in Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester, and in the community.
To support Simon visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-baker50
For more on Acorns, visit http://www.acorns.org.uk