26 cyclists from Conchango and partners ride 220 miles from London to Paris, and raise £22,000 to buy ruggedised educational laptops for children in the refugee camps and under occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. This was £7,000 more than the target we had set - a great performance by the team.
On 26th September, 26 cyclists from Conchango / EMC, alongside one from Microsoft and Hope and Play co-founder Tony Rahman set off on a 200 mile bike ride from London to Paris, which they completed on Sunday 28th. This ride was to support our appeal for Laptops to help the education of children in Gaza and the West Bank.
We set a target of £15,000 to buy 100 laptops. Since the target was set, the dollar / sterling rate moved against us, meaning that our target would have no longer been sufficient to buy 100. But through persistent and creative fundraising, the team actually has raised just over £22,000 ($40,000 USD) to date, with more still being collected. This means we can purchase more than 120 laptops, a full 20% more than we had targetted!
Highlights of the Ride
The ride, as with last year, was as fun as it was gruelling. The better trained leaned towards the former of those feelings, which those of us who were less prepared tended towards the latter. Some highlights included:
- The slower 'touring group' picking up a number of strays who decided that theirs was clearly the more appropriate pace for an event of this gravity.
- Marcus completing the entire ride with a monkey on his back, and with a variety of notices attached.
- Liz's inexhaustible supply of drugs (all legal, I hasten to add). No medical or athletic condition would be left untreated by her mobile pharmacy.
- Tony explains what it is to be a gastroenterologist over dinner. His work is mainly concerned with what happens at the final end of the digestive system.
- Less than two hours sleep for everyone before cycling about 100 miles on day two... Then again, maybe this wasn't a highlight.
Some of the ways the team raised sponsorship other than just asking for it included the following:
- Josie baked and sold cakes, cookies and flapjacks to two insatiable Conchango offices. The flapjacks especially where a real delight.
- Linda, Kevin and Mark did the same, serving up a bakery-full of treats at a Conchango community day.
- Anitza and Rachel instituted a swear box for operations meetings, to which Iyas was a solid (though not solitary) contributor.
- Anni sold drinks to the Interactive Media team, and introduced the DJ for an hour concept to their office stereo!
- A team curry at the Sheesh Mahal in Twickenham is organised, taking advantage of their great charity fundraising offer. Paola is doing the same with local friends, and Rob is threatening to do the same with his project team.
- Jemma organised a table football tournament with entry fees and drinks.
- A number of people donated prizes for competitions, which have yet to be used.
- Conchango picked up the tour costs of £6,000, allowing the riders to focus on raising funds for the project rather than paying their costs.
A huge thank you to the ride participants and all our sponsors. This is a tremendous result and will make a great difference.