Friends complete London to Paris challenge in aid of Norfolk Community Foundation

Olive Thompson, finance manager for the Norfolk Community Foundation, with her colleague Anna Dougla

Olive Thompson, finance manager for the Norfolk Community Foundation, with her colleague Anna Douglas, at the finishing line in Paris. - Credit: Archant

A Bungay woman has cycled the 300-mile route from London to Paris over four days, raising £4,600 for the Norfolk Community Foundation.

Olive Thompson, finance manager for the foundation, completed the challenge with her colleague Anna Douglas, in celebration of her 60th birthday.

The pair set off from London, cycling through the countryside, down to catch the ferry from Dover to Calais, before cycling to Arras, Compiegne and onto Paris.

They were met by a crowd of locals and tourists clapping and cheering up the Champs Elysees, before reaching the finish line at the Eiffel Tower.

Ms Thompson said: 'This was a personal challenge for me in terms of the ride and I faced my fears, totally embraced the experience and was thrilled to receive my medal at the Eiffel Tower.

'But perhaps, even more important was to ride with 167 people who were all on the ride to raise funds for charities that had a special meaning for them. To hear their individual stories was incredibly emotional and to strive collectively on our bikes for four days to help people in need brought us together to help each other achieve our goals.'

The Norfolk Community Foundation works with businesses, individuals and larger charity trusts to set up funds to support different causes across Norfolk and north Suffolk. Community groups and small charities can then apply for funding. The £4,600 raised by the pair will be put towards a new fund called the Norfolk Future Fund.

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They received sponsorship from friends and family as well as the foundation trustees and vice patrons.

Ms Thompson said: 'I have worked for the Norfolk Community Foundation for seven years and I thought it would be a good way to put something back into one of the funds.'

Ms Thompson trained for eight months for the challenge, and each day involved cycling for more than 10 hours, stopping at hotels overnight.

Mrs Douglas said: 'I would like to thank all of our generous sponsors who have helped us to raise money to significantly build the Norfolk Future Fund which will allow the local community groups that apply for funding a larger share to support their projects at our next funding event in November.'

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