From the Arc to the Ark to raise £58,000 for autism

The Essex charity cycle riders setting off from Paris, with Kate Skingle in the foreground.

The Essex charity cycle riders setting off from Paris, with Kate Skingle in the foreground. - Credit: KAT Marketing

Charity riders use pedal power to raise £58,000 for Essex autism centre

A group of charity cyclists from Essex pedalled from Paris to Chelmsford, Essex to raise money for t

A group of charity cyclists from Essex pedalled from Paris to Chelmsford, Essex to raise money for the Ark Centre for autistic children in Chelmsford. - Credit: Nick Cheshire

They completed a gruelling 300-mile cycle challenge from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to The Ark Centre in Chelmsford to raise funds to support local autistic children.

The epic challenge raised a total of £58,105 – almost triple the original target – thanks to sponsorship from Mitsubishi Electrical, TJ Evers and Wolseley.

The funds will be used to help the centre expand to support a larger number of autistic children.

Twenty-nine cyclists took on the challenge and tested their limits on tough rural terrain - they rode more than 8,845 miles, climbed more than 122,000 metres and burned approximately 210,000 calories between September 5 and 8.

The group marked their arrival back at The Ark Centre on Saturday evening with a drinks reception.

Nick Cheshire, co-founder of The Ark Centre, said: ““It’s been a superhuman effort from everyone involved. The numbers achieved are truly staggering from the money raised through to the miles we all racked up. We are so grateful to all our sponsors and riders who have been so generous with their time and money. This will do so much to improve the lives of so many autistic children and their families,”

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Mervyn Denney, construction director of TJ Evers said: “The Ark Cycle Challenge raised much needed funds for an exceptionally worthy cause that will see real benefits for local children.

“TJ Evers is pleased to be enjoying 100 years trading as a local business, as part of these centenary celebrations we put a team of riders together and are proud to be a sponsor for this event. As difficult as the challenge was, it turned out to be a hugely rewarding adventure for all of us and provided some fantastic memories that we will all cherish for a long time.”

The Ark Centre was opened in 2015.