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Councillor to take on mammoth east to west cycle challenge

PUBLISHED: 17:26 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 11 September 2018

Derek Whatley and David Ritchie who are cycling from St David's to Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council

Derek Whatley and David Ritchie who are cycling from St David's to Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council

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A councillor is to undergo an arduous west to east marathon cycle to raise money for an autism and learning difficulties charity.

Derek Whatley and David Ritchie who are cycling from St David's to Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County CouncilDerek Whatley and David Ritchie who are cycling from St David's to Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council

David Ritchie, deputy cabinet member for adult social care at Suffolk County Council and cabinet member for planning and coastal management at Waveney District Council, is taking up the challenge on September 20.

Mr Ritchie, and three friends, will cycle from St David’s in Wales to Lowestoft in five days, traversing 400 miles of rolling hills and British countryside in the process.

The 66-year-old, said he was looking forward to the challenge he will face as he attempts to raise £2,500 alongside his companions Derek Whatley, 71, Gordon Busbridge, 63, and Andy Hipper, 49.

He said: “I used to cycle a lot in my younger days, but I’m hoping, that although this challenge will be hard in parts, we will be successful in our endeavour. I know the team will be very supportive of one another. I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Derek Whatley and David Ritchie who are cycling from St David's to Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County CouncilDerek Whatley and David Ritchie who are cycling from St David's to Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council

Mr Ritchie will cycle in support of FitzRoy, a national charity which works to change the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism, helping them live more independently at home and in the community.

Mr Ritchie said: “I am very impressed with the work FitzRoy does to transform the lives of adults with learning disabilities, especially in Suffolk, and I am grateful for this opportunity to fundraise for them.”

Anna Galliford, FitzRoy chief executive, said: “A huge thank you to David, Andy, Derek and Gordon for taking on such a mighty cycle ride in aid of FitzRoy. We wish them a great experience, lots of fun and some wonderful memories.

“The money they raise through this epic cycle ride will help provide vital resources that make a real difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism, like a sensory room that can liberate someone with complex needs from a wheelchair or an iPad to help them communicate with loved ones and be understood.”

You can donate to the challenge by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-hipper1.

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