Cyclist’s 300-mile ride for charity
A CYCLIST from Corbridge has completed a 300-mile ride through North West Romania to raise funds for underprivileged children.
John Holmes (62) took time out from his role as operations manager at Kielder Observatory last month to take on the gruelling five-day challenge for the Cry in the Dark charity.
He and 12 other cyclists, including a small support team, set off on July 28 to take on the route, which began in Bucharest before taking in the hills of Transylvania and finishing in Comanesti.
"Cry in the Dark is a fantastic organisation that my wife have supported for many years," said John.
"It's a charity created for children and young adults who have known nothing but hardships for most of their lives.
"We have visited the various projects on a number of occasions and seen first-hand the amazing work being done there supported by such dedicated teams.
"Cycling a few hundred miles is nothing compared to the challenges these children are overcoming."
Cry in the Dark was established in 1998 by Steve Cooper after he saw 26 children living in dire circumstances at Dofteana orphanage in Bacau, North East Romania.
All were suffering from malnutrition and neglect and most of them had serious illnesses or disabilities.
In 2000 it built and opened a home for 24 children with special needs in Comanesti. Casa Lumina, or House of Light, is a home for life for these children who are now fast becoming young adults and are able to lead independent lives although still being supported by highly skilled teams.
Cry in the Dark's second project in Romania is the Casa Albert hospice which provides well designed and resourced care facilities, and is due to officially open next week.
"It was tough but we got through it and I got home last Wednesday," explained John.
"But not before I visited the projects again to see the work that is being done.
"I love cycling and have already taken part in a series of similar sponsored events but the hilly terrain brought a whole new set of challenges."
John's fund-raising page can be found online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/John-Holmes14