News & Press
A sponsored cycle and row from the Eiffel Tower to Trafalgar Square has raised a massive £4,300 for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) - although the action took place at Uxbridge College on static bikes and rowing machines.
The gruelling 266km ride from Paris to Calais, 34km across the English Channel, and remaining 120km from Dover to London was completed by teams of eight sporty students and staff - with a bit of help from some not-quite-so-fit ‘guest’ riders and rowers - who took turns with 15 minute bike sprints and 10 minute rows in an attempt to complete the equivalent distance.
The first team to hit the target - at which point everyone else gratefully gave up - was the Pink Team who completed the journey in 13hrs 21mins and 44 seconds. The teams started at 4.45am.
The fundraising was also supported by a themed raffle with prizes including a signed Arsenal Ladies shirt, a QPR men’s signed shirt, a signed photo of rower Sir Steve Redgrave, a golf day for four at The Shire London, a £50 voucher from intu Uxbridge shopping centre, and skincare products and cosmetics by Rodial and Benefit.
A cake stall offering ‘good versus evil cakes’ - sugary and creamy cakes up against healthy options such as low sugar flapjacks - also helped keep everyone going and raised money towards the cause.
Sport Lecturer Richard Johnson, who led the event, said: “It was extremely challenging and harder than anyone imagined - people had cramp and were in tears. It was a real test of character to have to keep on going when you’ve already given all you’ve got. It was a massive success with great energy and so much positivity. There was also awesome leadership from students with lots of focus on raising and collecting money.”
Standout participants included sports lecturer Stuart Clapson who completed the fastest cycle with 11km in 15 minutes, and the top individual fundraiser was student Matt Severn who raised £380.
The event was co-ordinated by Richard, whose own experiences of cardiac problems inspired the choice of charity, and was the second in aid of CRY held at Uxbridge College. Next year’s event is already being planned with suggestions including getting a group of staff and students together to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (the real one).
Richard spent the first two months of his life in hospital after being born with a hole in the heart and related issues, and as he grew up was repeatedly warned by doctors to avoid strenuous exercise. However he has been involved in cross-country running and other sports since he was a teenager and continues to be in better health than might be expected.
Film and media students have explored topics including conflict, terrorism and mental health as part of a work experience placement.
The students, who were placed at Make A Difference Entertainment (MADE) in Hayes, wrote, shot and edited their own films using locations in and around the area. The films are now being featured on YouTube.
The films include:
- Break the Cycle, directed by Kageth Kathirgamalingam - a moment of conflict between two young men escalates with tragic consequences.
- Bombed at the Bus Stop, directed by Andrew Cannon - a man is forced to confront his racial prejudices when he mistakes an Asian man for a terrorist.
- Free Your Mind, directed and starring Farris Simmons - a short piece about a man unable to escape his mental illness.
MADE is a social enterprise dedicated to creating brighter futures for London’s diverse communities through the co-production of innovative and engaging digital content.
David Lashbrook said: “The MADE project is not only a great opportunity for media students to learn about moving image production in a professional environment, but helps raise awareness about ethical issues and negative media stereotypes.”
The following Uxbridge College students, who are studying towards UAL Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology, are also currently working for the MADE project:
To see the films go to:
Pictured: Apprentices Scott Westgarth and Nicole Lonsdale (centre) received grants from Iver United Charities to buy equipment for their work, presented by the charity's treasurer Rob Penn (far right). Also attending (left-right) were Uxbridge College's Bernadette Keating, Tony Pool, Kirsty Lawson and Jo Withers.
A hairdresser and a motor vehicle apprentice completing their qualifications through Uxbridge College are both shopping for new tools thanks to grants from Iver United Charities.
Cheques for £125 each were presented to Nicole Lonsdale and Scott Westgarth by the charity’s treasurer Rob Penn, who also shared the history behind the grants. The money is part of income from bequests made in the 18th and 19th centuries to support the apprentices of the time. The charity now makes grants to apprentices and for other purposes to people who live in Iver, Iver Heath and Richings Park Buckinghamshire.
Scott, who lives in Iver, works at Smallbills Garage in Acton, and Nicole, from Iver Heath, at Horsepower Hairdressing in Uxbridge. Scott was accompanied by motor mechanics Course Team Leader Tony Pool, and Nicole by Kirsty Lawson, Course Team Leader for Hairdressing and Barbering Apprentices. Both trainees are studying at Level 2 and expecting to progress to Level 3.
Jo Withers, Director of Employment and Skills at Uxbridge College, said: “Over the last five years, Iver United Charities has supported apprentices at Uxbridge College from a range of trades to help them towards completing their qualifications. I’d like to say a big thank you to the charity for helping our apprentices on their journeys.”