Nine countries, nine days, nine hundred miles

andrew dorran final

Being faced with a large fundraising target can be as daunting as, say, being faced with a 900 mile bicycle ride through nine countries in just nine days. After signing up for the fundraising event ‘Ride 999‘ on a whim, Andrew Doran, a 38-year-old father of two, found himself faced with both.

Andrew didn’t let the overwhelming challenge get the better of him, however, and in just two weeks had raised a massive £2,000.

‘Ride 999’ is the cycling challenge of a lifetime, raising funds for the charity Get Connected. Get Connected is a free support line for those under 25. The charity says “we’re here for you, 365 days a year, for absolutely anything you’re going through. We’re free, confidential, and you can contact us however you’d prefer – by phone, email, text or webchat.” The charity has 100 trained volunteers ready to help with any question a young person might need to ask.

On 23 May, cyclists will set off from England and will cover France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Austria before finishing in Italy on 1 June. The aim of the cycle is to raise enough funds to run Get Connected’s telephone line for a year, supporting 250,000 children, and it still has 15 spaces left for riders of any level.

Andrew says “The past couple of weeks have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster! I really did worry I wouldn’t be able to reach the sponsorship target, but the response I’ve had has been overwhelming, humbling and really quite poignant. Get Connected provide such a vital service to young people who have an issue they don’t know how to deal with – it can be anything from mental health issues or money worries through to homelessness or abuse. I dealt with a period of depression and anxiety at uni and, while I was lucky enough to find support, not everyone knows where to find or how to access help. That’s where Get Connected come in.”

When asked what he’s most looking forward to, Andrew says “meeting my fellow riders, taking in some stunning scenery and most of all, crossing the finish line!”

You can support Andrew on his challenge via his Virgin Money Giving page, and to find out more about the challenge, visit Get Connected‘s website.

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