Nursery CEO to cycle hundreds of miles for charity

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Nursery staff at the Childbase Partnership are embarking on a 767-mile sponsored cycle ride to visit each of the group’s 47 nurseries in aid of a charity set up in memory of a colleague.

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Lynda Gostelow and Mike Thompson from Childbase are preparing a tour of the group's nurseries by bike to raise £50,000 for charity

Childbase chief executive Mike Thompson, operations director Lynda Gostelow, and four other members of staff hope to raise £50,000 for the Sue Andrews Foundation, which was established in memory of a Childbase Partnership director who died last year.

The team aims to visit all 47 nurseries in the group over two weeks, covering 90 miles a day starting at the Miles House setting in Bath on 3 August and finishing at Meadow View in Buckinghamshire on the 16 August.

Each nursery in the group, which is the 10th largest employee-owned company in the UK, will host its own ‘wheely big event’ as part of the challenge, with staff, children and parents taking part in sponsored events using anything with wheels, from bicycles to buggies.

The Sue Andrews Foundation has chosen to use funds raised by the ‘M and M Challenge’ (Miles House to Meadow View) towards setting up a children’s outside play area at the new Princess Eugenie House at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

Mr Thompson, who set up the company in 1989 and began the process of handing it over to employees in 2000, said the challenge of completing the ride was made easier with the knowledge that sponsorship would be helping children undergoing prolonged and often traumatic treatment at the hospital.

‘At Childbase we know that imaginative outdoor learning and play spaces are essential to children’s wellbeing and happiness,’ he said. ‘This is even more important for children fighting life-threatening diseases and for their families staying on site to support them.’

The M and M Challenge is the latest charity venture organised by the company – which last year funded a holiday for 30 families with terminally ill children – and is held as part of the Childbase’s 25th birthday celebrations this year.

Ms Gostelow said, ‘We are enormously proud of our fundraising tradition at Childbase and the tireless efforts of colleagues and partners who have conquered mountains, abseiled down buildings and generally pushed themselves to the limit for charity. This is our tribute to them.’

To sponsor the staff, visit www.justgiving.com/Michael-Thompson17

Follow the trip's progress on Twitter @MMbike2014