Magnifique ride for charity cash

From left, Wendy Valente, Royal Marine Paul Jackson and Carole Skirving
From left, Wendy Valente, Royal Marine Paul Jackson and Carole Skirving

TWO kind-hearted pals wanted to raise money for charity by taking on a gruelling 340-mile bike ride.

Carole Skirving, 59, and Wendy Valente, 39, took to the saddle and cycled all the way from Paris to Geneva.

The fundraisers averaged 85 miles every day in their four-day challenge and raised an impressive £1,805 for Help for Heroes.

But after selling some wristbands to add to their efforts, the total amount raised exceeded £2,000.

Carole, who is the business manager at Clavering Primary School, in Hartlepool’s Clavering Road, and Wendy, a nursery nurse, who lives on the Headland, both admitted the challenge was “exceptionally hard” but were delighted to raise such an impressive total for the charity.

Carole explained: “Obviously we knew it was going to be a tough challenge which would get more difficult by the day.

“It tested our leg muscles to the extreme, especially over the Jura Mountains, in the Alps.

“But it was a fantastic experience, be it an exceptionally tough one.”

The pair started out on their challenge from Paris and faced extreme mist, torrential rain and thunder and lightning over the four days.

But Carole said they also enjoyed the beautiful landscape dotted with small medieval towns.

The money raised was handed over to a Help for Heroes representative at an assembly at Clavering Primary School this week.

Carole, who lives in Seaton Carew, added: “I would like to say a big thank you to all of the pupils, staff, family and friends who supported Wendy and I on this challenge.

“The sponsorship total was a magnificent £1,805 but with our sale of wristbands our grand total was more than £2,000.

“We were absolutely delighted to raise such a brilliant amount.”