Halfway point as intrepid cyclists go cross-country for The Archie Foundation

© DC ThomsonMark Beaumont
Mark Beaumont

A world record breaker and a band of intrepid cyclists have set off on a cross-country mission to help sick kids across the north of Scotland.

Round-the-world adventurer Mark Beaumont is in the midst of leading a team of 11 on a journey between each of the children’s hospitals supported by The Archie Foundation.

The charity funds specialist equipment, overnight accommodation for parents and vital research, helping around 200,000 youngsters every year.

All of the money raised on this weekend’s cycle will be used to provides emergency grants for families struggling to make ends meet while their child is being cared for in hospital.

After leaving Dundee yesterday morning, the group cycled a gruelling 129 miles to the Highland Children’s Unit in Inverness.

They stayed there overnight and, today, will travel almost the same distance again on their way to Aberdeen.

Mr Beaumont said: “I have been really proud to have worked with Archie but this is the first time I’m doing something that I’m good at and getting back on my bike and leading a ride.

“This is not just a pootle around Camperdown Park.

“This is a serious undertaking. Well over 100 miles back-to-back.”

He added: “Having two daughters of my own, and having been looked after in a children’s hospital when I was young, I know first-hand how important it is to have that resource when you need it most.

“Not just the best doctors and expert care but an environment which is something positive for young people and their parents and carers who are looking after them.”

Sarah Johnston, the charity’s fundraising manager, said: “Our cyclists have been training hard for weeks in preparation for this event.

“I want to thank each and every one of them for helping to raise vital funds. Every penny will make a difference to local sick children.

“I also want to thank our patron Mark Beaumont for dedicating his time and for making this event happen. His continued support for Archie is greatly appreciated.”