Charity bid shifts into gear

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The boss of a Belper packaging firm is cycling from Edinburgh to Cornwall as part of an attempt to raise £100,000 for two major charities.

David Richardson, of DS Smith’s packaging, is pedalling more than 500 miles down the length of Britain for Heart Research UK and Cancer Research UK and employees at Belper are matching the distance on static bikes on site, to help support the fundraising.

The challenge is part of the ‘Match My Mileage’ campaign which involves a team of seven directors at the company biking from its Scottish plant in Livingstone to Launceston in the South West.

Meanwhile, two static bikes have been set up at Belper for individuals to ride in half hour segments, to match the mileage completed each day by David and the other participating directors.

Before setting -off, Mr Richardson said: “Many of us have had family and friends who have suffered from serious illness such as heart disease or cancer.

“We wanted to do something significant as a business to give back to others and demonstrate our commitment to being a caring and tenacious company.

“DS Smith Packaging has factories across the country and so these will provide strategic bases for our fundraising drive. We hope that each community will throw its weight behind us and dig deep into its pockets. We feel this is an important part of our general approach to supporting our communities with fundraising activities which are inclusive and effective.”

Employees at Belper have also organised a sponsored ride of the Tissington Trail on September 7 and 8, which catered for all levels of cyclists and involved family and friends as a further way of boosting funds.

A prize raffle is taking place throughout the event with prizes being donated by customers, suppliers and local businesses alike.

Elsewhere, Mr Richardson will be making his way along the route from Livingston, which takes in Belper, Clay Cross, Featherstone, Louth, Fordham, Ely, Blunham, Bristol, and Devizes with the finishing line at Launceston.

The challenge started on Friday, September 6, with the team arriving at Belper on the Monday, September 9. They are due to arrive in Launceston on September 16.

DS Smith Packaging is the UK’s leading supplier of corrugated packaging. The firm’s factory in Derby Road, Belper employs around 170 people, and has been a part of the town since the early 1960s.