Five-figure sum raised in fundraisers’ first year

The Sid Valley Cyclo-paths handing over their cheque to Dream-A-Way

The Sid Valley Cyclo-paths handing over their cheque to Dream-A-Way - Credit: Archant

A quintet gave it their all on a gruelling 1,000-mile cycle ride to net £13,000 for a local success story.

The Sid Valley Cyclo-paths’ contribution takes the Friends of Dream-A-Way Sidmouth’s fundraising total to £30,000 in its first year.

Matt Barrett wanted a physical challenge for the charity, so decided to ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End, and soon recruited Mark Denning, Nick Baker, Stuart Coles and Steve Parry to join him.

Mike Rock, the chairman of the Sidmouth group, said: “Matt and his team gave a tremendous boost to the fundraising for our newly-formed group. I’m indebted to them all for completing this amazing challenge.”

Charity chairman Jeff Merrett MBE added: “The challenge set by these guys was simply awesome – nearly 1,000 miles in just seven-and-a-half days – but their determination and spirit ensured their success.

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“To raise such a magnificent total for Dream-A-Way will enable us to make the impossible, possible for even more special, local people.”

Dream-A-Way works across the South West to assist people living with physical and learning difficulties and their families.

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Matt said: “Last year, we optimistically set ourselves a £10,000 target, so to surpass it has been fantastic. I think I’m right in saying that it’s the biggest single donation that Dream-A-Way has ever received.”

It has been a busy year for the charity as it marks its 20th anniversary, with a golf day at Woodbury Park proving its most successful yet – raising a massive £20,000.

And the Sidmouth friends have enjoyed huge success of their own and proved a template for other groups to be set up around Devon.

Mike has been a big part of that, simply by recycling waste paper with Devon County Council, which pays the charity by the tonne. His collections grew from a few newspapers in his spare time to a ‘phenomenal’ 75 tonnes this year – a weight that will pay out £10,000 this year.

He has been joined by Alan Lane, but they are inundated with requests for collections. Mike said more requests came in all the time and Dream-A-Way could raise even more money if other volunteers came forward. Anyone able to help is asked to call him on 07460 493367 or contact the charity.

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