The Headteacher of St Joan of Arc School in Rickmansworth is planning to cycle nearly 400 miles in 24 hours for charity.
Head Peter Sweeney challenged himself to cycle from Rickmansworth to the cathedrals of Northampton, Nottingham, Norwich, Brentwood and Westminster within 24 hours, and then back to Rickmansworth, between Friday, June 28 and June 29.
Peter aimed to raise funds for Udayan, a home for children affected by leprosy in Calcutta and West Bengal, India.
In February 2019, students and staff from the school visited Calcutta, India.
While there, they met a number of vulnerable young people.
In one home, they met some young girls who had been trafficked – taken from their homes at a young age and forced to do unspeakable things.
These girls, now 16, 17 and 18, are getting the help and rehabilitation they need to go on to live fulfilling lives.
Unfortunately they cannot be returned home as they were taken at such a young age that they don’t know where they are from.
Peter said prior to the challenge: “The other centre where we spent most of our time is a home for over 300 children affected by leprosy from all over West Bengal. All these children are homed here at Udayan so that they too can have a safe childhood, get educated, and break free from the poverty that living ‘at home’ would trap them in. The children who live at Udayan go on to become nurses, mechanics, police officers and a range of other vocations and professions that enable them to support their whole family, even whole communities, attain a better quality of life. They all want to make a difference and help others.”
“The children we met had experienced things that no human being ever should. Despite the love and care they now receive, the scars of their mistreatment run deep. Please help me and the students of St Joan of Arc Catholic School, protect other children from such tragedy. The centre could put money aside for these repairs, however this means that they would not be able to support as many children as they can whilst they divert funds towards a maintenance project instead of the mission of freeing children from a life of poverty.”
Peter began his cycle at the time RickyNews went to print – to donate to the cause, go to virginmoneygiving.com/udayan