A GROUP of friends are set to cycle the Trans Pennine Trail in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for an orphanage in India.
Father-of-three Howard Pearson, 49, Tom Dobson, 20, and Jonathan Cooper, 42, are limbering up to pedal 215 miles over Easter to raise vital funds for the Rose of Sharon children’s orphanage in Kerala, India.
They all attend the Christian Life Centre in Atherton Street, which has supported the orphanage for a number of years.
Howard, of Dentons Green, said: “The orphanage works with children who are homeless, neglected or abused. They currently provide a home for about 60 children who otherwise would be destitute.
“They provide shelter, food, clothing, emotional support, counselling and an education to all of the children who come through their doors. And the numbers are increasing on a daily basis.
“Neither myself nor my cycling partners are experienced cyclists. None of us are particularly athletic or fit, but we are determined and committed to succeed!”
Last summer Howard, his daughter Abigail, and Tom, of Haydock, pedalled all the way from Buckingham Palace to Liverpool on mountain bikes - raising a staggering £4,000 in the process.
And this year’s three to four-day challenge - set to be attempted over the Easter bank holiday weekend - will be every bit as challenging.
All the funds raised via the Trans Pennine Trail ride will be delivered to the orphanage, in person, by Howard and Tom in June.
Howard added: “Me and Tom will be spending nine days at the orphanage and, as well as taking the money raised from the charity event, we will also take as many gifts, educational materials and sports gear as we can carry.
“Training for the ride has been a bit intermittent so far. But we overdid it a bit before last year’s bike ride and ended up relying on a mixture of determination and lots of Deep Heat to get us through!”
Any donations can be made by cheque, made payable to “Christian Life Centre” and marked for the Rose of Sharon Orphanage Charity Cycle Ride.
Alternatively, people can hand in cash donations at the church reception.