£1k raised by Sidmouth College teacher

PUBLISHED: 15:26 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:34 18 June 2010

A GRUELLING eighteen hour charity bike ride by a Sidmouth College teacher raised more than £1,000 towards regenerating an African Village. Rob Howells, 57, cycled 224 last month to raise funds for the Buturi Project, a project led by Judith Smith, owner o

A GRUELLING eighteen hour charity bike ride by a Sidmouth College teacher raised more than £1,000 towards regenerating an African Village.

Rob Howells, 57, cycled 224 last month to raise funds for the Buturi Project, a project led by Judith Smith, owner of The Village Collection in Sidmouth.

The part time English teacher set off from Sidmouth College at 3am, cycled up to Gloucester and then back down to Cranford Sports Club in Exmouth where he arrived at 9.30pm.

And this week Rob's stamina and dedication was rewarded when he handed a cheque for £1,150 over to Judith.

He said: "It was very hard and difficult and for the last 60 miles it really was mind over matter."

Rob admits the start of the bike ride may have been hampered after Sidmouth College's eagle-eyed caretaker spotted Rob 'acting suspiciously'.

"He saw me taking pictures of my bike and didn't recognise me so he called the police," Rob explains.

"My wife got a phone call in the afternoon off a police officer asking what I was doing there so early in the morning!"

But the drama and the hard slog was all worth it for Rob who has expressed his thanks to everyone who contributed to the amazing amount raised.

He added: "I was very surprised by the number of people who sponsored me and I would like to thank my colleagues and the students at Sidmouth College who supported me."

The original aim of the Buturi Project was to raise enough money to install a water-bore in the Northern Tanzania village, and now the aim is to build a kindergarten for the children.

Plans are also being made to create a link between Buturi and Sidmouth College, via exchange trips and a long-term vision of the project is to have interactive video link lessons.

Judith will be visiting the school in the next couple of weeks to tell them about her recent trip to Buturi and to explain how their support will help to improve the villagers' way of life.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald