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Openwork cycle challenge raises £75,000

A team of advisers, staff and friends of Openwork have raised £75,000 for the network’s community involvement programme, the Openwork Foundation, through a sponsored bike ride across Jordan.

Twenty-three cyclists set off for Jordan in October and cycled 320km in four days across the Arabian desert, from Madaba in the north to Aqaba in the south, raising money to support disadvantaged children and young people in the UK and overseas.

Northern Rock and Just Retirement were the key sponsors and the Jordan cycle expedition was the Foundation Group’s first multi-event challenge, including a day trek in Petra at extreme temperatures – ranging from 40C during the day to just above freezing at night.

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The Jordan expedition was the eleventh overseas cycle challenge embarked on by the Openwork Foundation – which aims to support some of the most disadvantaged people in society and enable them to lead more independent lives – under its theme ‘Cares for Kids’.

Last year the foundation was able to fund grants for £400,000 to charities nominated by Openwork staff and advisers.

The foundation team in Jordan included Brian Harding, Devesh Ambasna, David Harvey, Dominic Chapman, Nick Paling, Mike Elworthy, Adam Roberts, Phil and Sonia White, Neil Hurrell, Tex Nagra, David Ridley, Sam Tesch, Jon Gunter and Ramon Puig.

Sam Tesch, foundation manager of Openwork, said: “Completing the Jordan challenge was tougher than we expected.

“We cycled and trekked in forty degree temperatures over the mountainous Arabian desert. Sleeping in an open bedouin tent was another challenge but helped bond the team and although the journey was both mentally and physically stretching, the knowledge that we were raising money for those less fortunate kept us going.

“On behalf of the foundation and our team of cyclists I would like to thank everyone for their generous donations.”