College joins virtual fundraising cycle from Shropshire to Ethiopia

The whole of a Shropshire college is joining in a unique fundraising challenge – a virtual cycle to a primary school in Ethiopia.

The collective challenge for 600 students as well as staff at Acton Burnell-based Concord College – estimated to take two to three weeks – is to cycle 8,487km and row 175.8km.

On campus students and staff will use the college’s exercise bikes and rowing machines as they aim to raise money for Concord’s school charity, ‘Soil of Amhara’.

This is in support of Lalibela Primary School in Ethiopia to ensure children don’t have to sit on the floor in unsafe and uncomfortable buildings.

The aim is to refurbish four classrooms.

A pledge of £5 is required for each student and member of staff to earn a dedicated 20-minute slot.

The challenge is to raise more than £2,000 to improve opportunities for young people in some of the poorest parts of Ethiopia.

Joint founder of the charity, Concord geography teacher Steven Cale said: “The virtual journey will be accomplished collectively through student and staff efforts.

"In addition, Concord alumni and the wider college community will also take part.

“On campus we will be using the exercise bikes to virtually travel the journey through 13 countries as well as the rowing machines to travel the English Channel and Red Sea.

“All the bikes and rowers have pedometers to track the distance, but we encourage all who take part to track their distance using smart phones or other devices.

“We think it will be great fun and we aim to raise money through family and friends in the form of sponsorship – as well as those paying for the pleasure of riding and taking part.”

The challenge will be launched when Concord College principal Neil Hawkins boards an exercise bike for the first 20-minute slot outside the front of the college’s main hall on November 4.

The link for people to securely donate if they would like to support the challenge is

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