Rotherham College English student Marlon Perez and Dearne Valley College (part of RNN Group) Learner Recruitment and Reception Officer Simon Beech have raised over £870 by cycling 1,012 miles over four weeks.
The pair, who became friends through College, completed the charity cycle challenge in a bid to raise funds to help people in Marlon’s hometown in Honduras, which was devasted by last November’s hurricanes. The rains, strong winds, flash flooding and storm surges triggered by Hurricanes Eta and Iota have affected about 5 million people across Central America and Mexico.
Marlon and Simon originally intended to cycle the Trans Pennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea, however, Covid restrictions forced a change of plan and they decided to complete the same distance of the trail in their local areas instead.
Despite living thousands of miles away, Marlon wanted to help however he could.
Marlon says: “People in my hometown lost everything. When the floods came people were stranded on their roofs for a few days until the water went down and then they had lost all of their belongings and didn’t have basic emergency supplies.”
Although he’s usually a runner, on one particular ride Marlon cycled a huge 65 miles, although he admits the winter weather didn’t make it easy.
He said: “The snow, rain and ice were beautiful but stopped us being able to continue on some days. It feels great to complete the challenge and it’s very satisfying to know that we’ve helped people.
“With the money donated many essential items like food, medicine and nappies for babies have been bought. To everyone who donated I really want to thank you on behalf of the people of my town – they are very grateful for it.”
As well as being thankful for the many generous donations, Marlon is grateful to those who showed him such kindness on his rides.
He said: “I got a puncture a long way from home and two gentlemen stopped to help me repair it, they were lifesavers. On another ride, I decided to buy a bottle of water, but I didn’t have cash and a lovely lady gave me £1 for it. I don’t know how to repay everyone for everything they have done for me and people in my country.”
Want to Help?
The fundraising page set up by Marlon and Simon is still open for those who would like to find out more and donate.