A 19-year-old cyclist is preparing to take on a 311-mile cycling challenge spanning two capital cities – all in the name of charity.
Aaron Cooper, from Clifton-upon-Teme, near Worcester, is training for the London to Paris Challenge and is raising money for St Richard’s Hospice.
The mammoth bike-ride spans four days in July, finishing on the Champs-Élysées the day before the finale of the Tour de France.
Mr Cooper, who is an engineering apprentice and college student, said: “I’ve always wanted to do my bit for charity and being a keen cyclist, I thought I’ll put two and two together.
“To cover this great distance is an achievement in itself, but to be doing it for charity as well makes it more worthwhile.
“I’m very passionate about doing this event and supporting St Richard’s Hospice. It is a local charity that has been there for friends and family when they have needed support during difficult times.”
The keen cyclist is already in training for the challenge and says he is most excited to cross the finish line around the same time as the Tour de France.
Last summer’s London to Paris ride saw riders cycling in scorching temperatures, raising money for a host of charities – including St Richard’s.
Mr Cooper says he hopes to raise at least £1,600 for the Worcester-based hospice, helping fund its free care to patients, loved ones and bereaved people across Worcestershire.
Jodi Brandwood, fundraiser at St Richard’s, said: “We are thrilled to have Aaron on board with this challenge and we wish him all the best with training.
“The London to Paris ride is a tough, but incredible experience and to raise money for our care at the same time is just fantastic. We are so grateful for Aaron’s support!”
To make a donation to Mr Cooper’s fundraising, visit justgiving.com/aaron-cooper4
The London to Paris challenge takes place between Thursday, July 24 and Sunday, July 28. It will see cyclists travel through Kent to Dover before crossing the Channel to Calais.
Participants then ride along French country lanes, through market towns, passing war memorials and cemeteries of the Somme before cycling to the Arc de Triomphe and on to the Champs-Élysées.
To join Mr Cooper and sign-up for the ride in support of St Richard’s, visit www.strichards.org.uk/london-to-paris