25 September 2023
Budding cyclists from the Bristol-based National Composites Centre have raised £10,000 for charity after embarking on a gruelling 900km bike ride from Bristol to Cologne – crossing five countries in just five days.
The challenge took place in June with a team of 15 cyclists who started their epic journey from the NCC’s headquarters in the Bristol & Bath Science Park, Emersons Green, down to Portsmouth where they boarded an overnight ferry to Caen. From there, the team cycled across rural France, Belgium, and the Netherlands before crossing the finishing line at the beautiful Cologne Cathedral.
The cycle raised the biggest single donation to FoodCycle’s project in Bristol, helping local people in need and serving them healthy and nutritious meals whilst bringing them together to meet each other in a warm and friendly environment.
Andrew Hopcraft, the NCC’s Chief Operating Officer and the cycle team’s road captain, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the team for not only rising to the tough challenge of riding more than 900km over five days but also for raising so much money for a very worthwhile cause. It wasn’t easy – especially Day 3 when we needed to cover 200km in the worst downpour of rain imaginable!
“We chose FoodCycle in Bristol because we really wanted to help people in need locally. A lot of people are affected by the cost-of-living crisis, with many getting to a point of not being able to feed themselves and their families properly, which has a huge impact on their health and wellbeing. We hope our donation makes a big difference to this vital community service.”
FoodCycle Head of Programmes, Sophie Tebbetts, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of the NCC, who have kindly donated funds to help tackle food poverty, food waste and social isolation. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit people hard across the country, FoodCycle is more vital than ever and we are grateful that they can help us provide a warm space, friendly chat and a nutritious meal to anyone who wants it every week, no questions asked.”
Members of the cycling team have also volunteered at FoodCycle locations in Bristol, helping to cook and serve healthy meals to the local community.
FoodCycle is a national charity that aims to make food poverty, loneliness, and food waste a thing of the past. Run entirely by local volunteers, they serve up weekly community meals using food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Operating 76 projects across England and Wales, the free vegetarian meals provide great food, a warm space and friendly conversation every week for anyone who wants to come along. In the past year, FoodCycle has seen a 59% increase in the number of free meals served, reflecting a growing need for services like this as people across the region continue to be affected by the cost-of-living crisis.