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Cycling from Newbury to Paris

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Council leader and senior West Berkshire council officers to take on 350-mile challenge for charity

THE leader of West Berkshire Council is joining two senior council officers for a five-day cycle marathon to Paris, to raise money for local children's charity Swings and Smiles.

The 350-mile journey will be undertaken by council leader Graham Jones (Con, Lambourn), the head of cultural services in West Berkshire, David Appleton, and the district council's countryside manager, Paul Hendry.

Swings and Smiles, a charity founded in 2007 to raise sufficient money to build, equip and run an indoor and outdoor recreational facility for children with special needs and their families, plans to stock up on specialist cycling equipment.

Sian Cook, founder of the charity, said: “Most children take bike riding for granted. We would love to be able to buy this special equipment for those unable to use regular bikes, and I'm delighted that Graham, David and Paul are going to help us do just that.”

The idea for the charity cycle ride to Paris came from Mr Jones, who said: “I already knew Swings and Smiles and the excellent work they're planning, and I love cycling. When I heard that they wanted to raise money to buy specialists cycling equipment, a sponsored bike ride was an obvious thing to do.”

Mrs Cook said that the three cyclists are also looking for more people to join them for their ride, which will begin on Wednesday, September 28.

Anyone interested in signing up can contact her on 0845 094 9785, or visit www.justgiving.com/teams/swings-and-smiles to donate.

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