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Havering paramedic taking on 1,200 mile challenge for Help for Heroes

PUBLISHED: 12:37 08 June 2012 | UPDATED: 13:38 08 June 2012

From left: Robbie Hickling, Joe Collins, Alex Batty and Stephen Macciochi

From left: Robbie Hickling, Joe Collins, Alex Batty and Stephen Macciochi

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Three London Ambulance Service paramedics are cycling 1,200 miles in 16 days to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Stephen Macciochi, from Ilford, Alex Batty, from Upminster, and Joe Collins, from Canning Town, set off two weeks ago.

Leading the cyclists is Mr Batty, who is a former member of the RAF Regiment.

He said they decided to raise money for the servicemen charity as many of them have connections with the armed forces.

Mr Macciochi, who has been with the ambulance service for 20 years, came up with the idea almost a year ago.

The paramedics from the service’s hazardous area response team (HART) who provide life-saving medical care in hostile environments, such as industrial accidents and natural disasters, started the gruelling challenge on Monday.

Mr Macciochi said: “We will be visiting all 16 HART stations on our tour and the most northern will be Newcastle and western Exeter.

“I came off my bike a couple of months ago while training and broke my coccyx but I’m now back on the saddle.

“We’re all fairly fit anyway given the nature of our everyday job but the part I’m most dreading is crossing the Pennines by going uphill for over 60 miles straight.”

A fourth paramedic, Robbie Hickling, was forced to pull out due to injury.

To support the team’s effort, you can make a donation at www.bmycharity.com/harttohart.

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