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Triomphe triumph for charity cyclists as they arrive in Upminster

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 June 2015

At the start, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, from left to right, Mike Day, Mark Chappell, Ian Frost, Dan Haines, Simon Elliot, Colin Mimms, Richard Lawrence, Chris Brown and Steve Lawrence. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service

At the start, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, from left to right, Mike Day, Mark Chappell, Ian Frost, Dan Haines, Simon Elliot, Colin Mimms, Richard Lawrence, Chris Brown and Steve Lawrence. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service

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A group of friends are celebrating after completing a cycle challenge for charity.

On the way to Upminster, from left to right, Colin Mimms, Ian Frost, Mike Day, Mark Chappell, Chris Brown, Richard Lawrence, Steve Lawrence, Simon Elliot and Dan Haines. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service On the way to Upminster, from left to right, Colin Mimms, Ian Frost, Mike Day, Mark Chappell, Chris Brown, Richard Lawrence, Steve Lawrence, Simon Elliot and Dan Haines. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service

Steve Lawrence and Mark Chappell, both 46 and from Upminster, got together with seven of their friends from around Essex and cycled from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, all the way back to Upminster.

The cyclists, who were accompanied by drivers Peter Lawrence, 71, from Upminster, and Martin Cockburn, 45, from Wickford, took on the gruelling challenge for Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service (HBBS) and raised more than £10,000.

The crew spent four days cycling more than 300 miles to Calais and then from Dover to Upminster.

Steve said: “My wife June volunteers for the Friends of HBBS and is actively involved in organising fundraising events and we know that HBBS make a huge difference to young lives that have been touch by tragedy.

The team finally reach their destination, Upminster. From left to right Colin Mimms, Peter Lawrence, Ian Frost, Steve Lawrence, Graham Price, Mark Chappell, Mike Day, Richard Lawrence, Martin Cockburn, Simon Elliott, Dan Haines and Chris Brown. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service The team finally reach their destination, Upminster. From left to right Colin Mimms, Peter Lawrence, Ian Frost, Steve Lawrence, Graham Price, Mark Chappell, Mike Day, Richard Lawrence, Martin Cockburn, Simon Elliott, Dan Haines and Chris Brown. Picture: Havering & Brentwood Bereavement Service

“It was one of the hardest physical challenges I have ever faced but one of the best experiences of my life, especially as we’ve raised more than £10,000 for local children.”

Steve and Mark were joined by Richard Lawrence, 44 and Simon Elliott, 46, both from Benfleet, Colin Mimms, 53, from Rayleigh, Chris Brown and Ian Frost, both 44 and from Wickford, Dan Haines, 44, from Brentwood and Mike Day, 48, from Rettendon.

Ian said: “I know how hard fundraising can be and how important the money is for the charity to continue to provide this valuable service to the children in our local community, so completing 300 plus miles and getting a little saddle sore was certainly worth it.”

The team’s cycling shirts were sponsored by Gradans Architectural Hardware in Balgores Lane, Gidea Park, and had a van and trailer loaned to them by Ford.

HBBS head of commercial services Lizzie Allen said: “We are so grateful that these nine guys, and not forgetting the two drivers, who took part in this bike challenge in support of our children’s service.

“We realise the time it takes to train and the effort involved in raising funds, it’s a big commitment and everyone at HBBS and the families we support are incredibly grateful.”

Visit bit.ly/1I5eST3 to donate.

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