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Southern depot team pick pedal power to support children’s hospital

Press release   •   Jun 12, 2019 16:25 BST

Joe Wood, Jon Dye, Tom Mills, Jerome Matthew and Dean Lucas will be supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital

Fuelled by bananas and energy gel, five engineers from Southern are hoping to raise £2,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) by tackling their longest ever cycle ride.

The team, who are based at the Southern engineering department in Selhurst, Croydon, are raising cash after learning how the hospital had supported a number of their colleagues.

Production Leaders Tom Mills, 28, Jon Dye, 40, Dean Lucas, 35, and Service Engineers Jerome Matthew, 34, and Joseph Wood, 24, will be getting on their bikes on Sunday 16 June for the 54-mile London to Brighton Bike Ride, organised by the British Heart Foundation.

Father-of-two Tom said: “The things GOSH does are marvellous. None of the team have been immediately affected, but our colleagues have. I haven’t cycled this far before. Before Sunday, the farthest I had cycled was 10 miles. The others are like me. Since we signed up, the most we have ridden is about 15 miles!”

Undaunted by the challenge ahead, Tom added: “I’m excited about Sunday. We will all finish one way or another. Since we have raised this much money, we have no choice, we will have to keep going. We have all gone out and bought road bikes for it, apart from Jerome who is going to try and do it on his old mountain bike. He’ll probably be the one to stop off at all the pubs!”

To keep their strength up, each cyclist will be taking four bananas, two bottles of water and electrolyte gel. Hoping for clear skies on the day, in case of punctures, the team will also be armed with spare inner tubes and pumps.

So far, more than £1,300 has been donated to the team through their JustGiving page, including £500 in cash from colleagues at the repair shop.

On their JustGiving page, the group says: “We have chosen to do the London to Brighton for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity as we have multiple fathers in the repair shop that have had help from the Great Ormond Street Charity.

“The work this charity does helps many other hospitals across the UK when it comes to children and babies, so you may not even realise it but your child could have been helped by this charity in one way or another. If you are lucky enough to have never needed support from this charity, then please remember how lucky you are and still donate what you can.”

It is not the first time workers at the Selhurst Repair Shop have rallied round to support worthy causes. Back in October last year, over £7,000 was raised for Cancer Research after a colleague sadly passed away.

To support the team in their efforts this weekend, you can make a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/repairshop-champions2019

The team would also welcome supporters to join them at the finish line on Brighton seafront, weather permitting!

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com