Group tackle bike ride to raise cash for homeless

Cycle challenge: The Happy Days team at the start of the 2018 ride from London to Halifax.
Cycle challenge: The Happy Days team at the start of the 2018 ride from London to Halifax.

A group of cyclists, led by Halifax-based charity Happy Days, is set to ride 280 miles over five days in a bid to raise thousands of pounds to fight homelessness in Yorkshire.

Beginning on Monday, February 4, the group will set off from Halifax and cover the length and breadth of the North of England, stopping at York, South Shields, Carlisle and Morecambe before arriving back in Sowerby Bridge on Friday, February 8 for a sleep out at Sowerby Bridge Cricket Club.

Cycling up to 80 miles a day, the team will be sleeping rough at every location, replicating the plight of the homelessness in the North of England in a bid to raise awareness and funding.

Last year’s ride from London to Halifax saw more than £10,000 pounds raised for good causes in the area.

Happy Days Ministries is based in Sowerby Bridge and provides essential services to those suffering from homelessness and addiction in the area.

As well as these services, its social enterprises include a cycling shop, a cafe and a building company.

Happy Days also operates one of the 60 Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries throughout the county, a scheme launched by Welcome to Yorkshire as a legacy of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire designed to give every child in Yorkshire an opportunity to borrow and ride a bike for free.

Dave Fawcett, CEO of Happy Days, said: “Last year we managed to raise over £10,000 and we want to go even bigger and better this year. If you’re a keen cyclist and want to get involved, we always have space available and we’d love to hear from you.

“Everybody who’s pledged to take part in this ride has a huge love and passion to change lives and improve local communities.

“Whether it’s raising money, volunteering or just changing attitudes towards homelessness, I hope we inspire as many people as possible over the coming days.

“Anybody can be a victim of bad circumstances, but it can be so simple and easy to make a difference in someone’s life who needs it the most.”

Sir Gary Verity DL, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “What an inspirational challenge for such a great cause! Happy Days does so much for the local community and it’s fantastic to see them capitalising on the county’s enthusiasm for cycling in a bid to fight homelessness.”

Throughout the ride, Mr Fawcett will be meeting local residents at the rest stops and giving talks on homelessness in the North of England and how communities can get involved to help. The Happy Days team has extended an open invitation for those wishing to raise money themselves.

Sowerby Bridge Cricket Club will be hosting a sleep out for anyone wishing to accompany them. Email angela@happydaysuk.org for more details.