Cellular Solutions Cycle to the South of France for Charity
In June 2009, Cellular Solutions did their second, and equally as successful, sponsored 80 mile round trip on bicycles from Shoreham to Guildford and back. Between the two UK based sponsored cycle events we were able to raise a staggering £48,700 for various charities throughout Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire. This was through the hard work of the cyclists and the amazing generosity of our family, friends, customers and business partners.
Damian decided then to think bigger and that is when the plan for Portslade to Paris was formed. And why stop at Paris? Cellular Solutions will be cycling the whole of France straight down to Collioure, near Argeles Plage, all for some amazing charities!
June 2011 – Portslade to Paris
Cyclists – Damian, Leanne, Toni, Polly, Steph, Kevin, Sarah C, Richard
Distance – 130 miles
Hills – A couple of bigguns!
For 8 members of Cellular Solutions’ staff and their bikes this was the first leg of our cycle across France. This time around the event was sponsored by Vodafone, and we were well on track to raise well over £25,000 again, taking the combined total to £78,000 for our charity cycle events – not bad for a medium sized business. They battled through rain and heat, a bit more rain, and a couple of very memorable hills to reach their final destination. It was hard work but they had the beautiful city of Paris and the backing of all their sponsors as their reward.
June 2013 – Paris to Orléans
Cyclists – Damian, Dan, Richard, Kevin, Sarah S, Keri, Steph, Danielle W, Tara, Charlie D
Distance – 147 miles (possibly more as they did get a bit lost)
Hills – not too many, but lots of off-roading on road bikes!
9 eager participants set off from Paris to make their way down to Orléans through rain, sun and some mild getting lost. They were however saved by a man walking his donkey in a forest, thus managing to complete their 147 mile ride. This stage of the ride was backed by Vodafone again and between them and our amazing personal and business sponsorship we raised a further £30,400, bringing our running total to £108,400!
2015 – Orléans to Poitiers
Cyclists – Damian, Dan, Kevin, Sarah S, Natalie, Steph, Leanne, Kelly O, Charlie D, Loren
Distance – 155 miles
Hills – a fair few… in a heatwave….
10 cyclists this time joined our trek down through France, sponsored this time by Gamma. Our brave volunteers contended with a freak heatwave, where local French news stations were telling people to only travel if necessary, but our crazy English men and women were out in that midday sun all for so very many good causes. They did it, with our ever-inspiring sponsorship from friends, family and our amazing customers driving them on. Our slightly sweaty crew raised another £36,600 – so we are now at an incredible £145,000…WOW!
2017 – Poitiers to Bergerac
Cyclists – Damian, Dan, Kevin, Steph, Christina, Sean, Jessica, Kelly O, Jan, Alex, Daniela, Charlie D
Distance – 173 miles
Hills – Very very many, very very steep and very very hot…
In June, 2017, we sent 12 riders out to cover the next 173 miles of this charity bike ride. The weather was hot and sticky, with a bit of rain thrown in to just mix it up. The terrain was extremely demanding with numerous very steep climbs up that took a lot of time and leg work. What comes up must come down, and the riders had to be very careful of speed and slippery road surfaces in the summer rain. The home and away teams between them raised another amazing £32,000, so this brings our running tally to £180,000!
2019 Bergerac to Toulouse
Cyclists – Charlie D, Christina, Daniela, Jimmy, Joe, Nicola, Pascale, Sean, Steph, Dan, Damian, Richard
Distance – 187 miles
Hills – So very many… and most of them mountains!
This year 12 riders took on the longest and toughest ride yet. Rolling hills meant our riders were constantly riding hard to get up inclines of varying steepness. They had a solid second day of rain and a headwind just to add to the already challenging ride. Our determined riders were all soaked through and chilled to the bone. There were also punctures and pedal breakages, dodgy knees and sore bottoms, but the morale remained high and they kept our charities in mind throughout to get them through the tough times. We again had the amazing backing and sponsorship of Gamma for this stage, and our fundraising raised an outstanding £34,000, so this brings our running tally to £204,000!
2022 Toulouse to Collioure (postponed from 2021)
Cyclists – Damian, Dan, Megan, Lauren N, Louisa, Jimmy, Cecily, Nicola, Joe, Christina
Distance – 187 miles
Hills – Cycling over a mountain range!
Delayed by a year due to the Covid pandemic, this final stage was a very welcome addition to our social and charitable calendar. Our 10 riders started from Toulouse and powered through and over the Pyrenees mountain range. Hitting a max altitude of 1093 metres at points, and in unrelenting heat with a high of 35c, the team pushed through the pain and fatigue to reach their final destination of Colliore on the Mediterranean. That finish line was kept in mind throughout, along with all the amazing donations that were being made during the 3 day ride, which really motivated the team and encouraged them to keep on going. A massive £30,000 was raised on this very celebrated final stage of our CS Cycle to the South of France for Charity.
Back in the UK…
And whilst our amazing charity cyclists head off to do their grueling distance cycles across France, they are supported continuously back home by those still working hard to look after our customers. The rest of the Cellular Solutions team chip in with the charity work with relay static bike rides and bake sales to help add to the funds we raise.
So, our French charity trek grand totals are –
Cyclists – of all ages, levels and abilities –
|Rider Name||No of Stages Ridden||Rider Name||No of Stages Ridden||Rider Name||No of Stages Ridden|
|Damian||6||Lauren N||1||Sarah C||1|
Distance – Upwards of 979 miles covered (probably a bit more than needed due to sometimes less than accurate navigation)
A special thanks to O2, Vodafone, Gamma and Pavilion Car rental who have all made our charity rides possible with their generosity.
Money raised – in excess of £236,000!! (this does include the inspiring UK warm up rides too) – The money raised so far has been divided between numerous charities whose hard work ranges from caring for sick babies, looking after children with multiple disabilities, caring for children and adults who are terminally ill in the UK and then to charities like Sightsavers International who undertake the majority of their good work in the Third World.
Among the Charities donated to we include –
– Chestnut Tree House
– Martlets Hospice
– St Catherines Hospice
– Trevor Mann Baby Unit
– Diabetes UK
– Help for Heroes
– Macmillan Cancer Support
– Alzheimers Society
– Brain Research Trust
– Marie Curie
– And many many more….
If you would like to donate to our fundraising, find out more about our upcoming charity ride, or suggest a charity for our most current event then please call us on 01273 424220.