Swansea broker cycles from Paris to Swansea for Tŷ Hafan

Neil Williams, an insurance broker from Mansleton, Swansea has signed up for the ride of his life after pledging to cycle from Paris to Swansea for charity this summer.

The Jelf Insurance Broker employee will be taking part in the ‘One Love Charity Bike Ride’, an annual cycling event which raises thousands of pounds for charity every year.

The 320 mile, five day adventure will see Neil set off from the Eiffel Tower, before passing through some of France’s most picturesque countryside en route to the channel. The ride concludes with a celebratory ride down Fabian Way into Swansea.

Neil’s involvement in the cycle was inspired by his local cycling club, Action Bikes Cycling Club where he trained with the 2014 One Love participants who encouraged him to take part in the ride the next time round.

Neil said: “This is going to be a huge challenge for me and everyone involved. The furthest I’ve cycled to date is 60 miles in one day so 320 in under a week will be really hard.

“I am looking forward to it though and have already started training. At the moment I’m doing four hours every Saturday morning and at least one more ride a week. That will increase though in the New Year as the ride creeps closer.”

The One Love Charity Bike Ride is unique in that it allows entrants to choose which charity they want to raise money for. Neil chose to raise money for Tŷ Hafan after seeing first-hand the amazing work that they do for families with terminally ill children.

Neil said: “When a colleague’s son was ill, the care that Tŷ Hafan gave him and his family was awe-inspiring and if I can raise money for such an incredible charity that will certainly motivate me to keep pedalling.

“Since I announced that I was taking part in the challenge, everyone at Jelf has been really supportive. The company has actually paid the £250 deposit for the ride and my colleagues have promised to help with my fundraising – I need to raise at least £1,500 to take part.”

Julian Hilton, Jelf’s regional managing director, said: “Everyone at Jelf is right behind Neil and his fundraising. We are all very impressed with his dedication to the challenge and Tŷ Hafan is a charity that is close to the heart of everyone at Jelf so we wish him every success.”

Since the ride’s inception in 1999, organiser Richard Smith and his team have raised a remarkable quarter of a million pounds for various south Wales charities.

The 2015 cycle was officially launched by Richard, the Lord Mayor of Swansea, Ceinwen Thomas and the charities involved at the start of December in Mansion House.

The event is taking place from 29th July to 2nd August 2015 and people can still sign up. Anyone interested in taking part in the event can contact Richard on 01792 464640.