THREE members of Beaufort Financial piled on the pedal power as part of the fabulous and formidable Arkriders team that completed the Ark to Arc challenge and raised more than £70,000 for two good causes.
Mark Dolby, Andy Coles and Ashley Hull were part of a 34-strong group who rode from Basingstoke to the Arc de Triomphe in the heart of Paris – and the three cyclists celebrated in style by raising their bikes above their heads when they reached the finish line in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Ark to Arc took place between July 12 and July 15, and saw the 34 riders support Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is raising £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre in the Basingstoke area, and Kingsclere-based Bike 4 Cancer (bike4cancer.org).
Completing the Ark to Arc journey was an individual and team triumph for the riders, and for Mark and Andy it also marked a second cycling fundraising success.
Last year, the dynamic duo and Beaufort colleague Graeme Bone were part of the JOGLE16 team who raised more than £50,000 for Ark in a John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge that involved 13 riders.
Speaking about Ark to Arc, Mark, who is a director of Reading-based IFA Beaufort Financial, said: “Completing the 2017 ride was a big challenge for all of us, and there were some pretty serious injuries, including a broken collarbone, a fractured arm, some nasty cuts and bruises – as well as some very sore bottoms!
“It’s a great honour to be involved in fundraising for the Ark charity and the cancer treatment centre project, and Andy, Ashley and myself really appreciate the support and donations from our fantastic clients as well as our professional introducers – the accountants and solicitors of Basingstoke and Reading, who have backed us and spurred us on.”
As well as receiving great support from sponsors, pupils at the school of one of Mark’s daughters did their bit to help by raising more than £200 after Mark and a fellow Arkrider gave a talk about Ark to Arc and the cancer treatment centre project.
Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications at Basingstoke-based Ark Cancer Centre Charity, was among a group of family and friends who were at the Eiffel Tower to cheer and meet the riders at the end of their journey.
He said: “This was an amazing achievement by an awesome group of cyclists. They should all be very proud of what they have accomplished, and it was great to have Mark, Andy and Ashley on the team.
“All of the cyclists committed money, time and effort to take part in Ark to Arc, and they have really made a difference to the two charities.”
Mark added: “Ark is proud to be Beaufort Financial’s Charity of the Year for the second successive year, and the support from the team at the firm has been fantastic.”
The Ark to Arc ride was organised by Ark Riders – a group that has been formed to help raise money for Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal in 2017 and beyond – and cycling-focused charity Bike 4 Cancer. Throughout the journey, the cyclists were looked after by a great support team from Skyline Events.
All of the Ark to Arc cyclists have been raising money through sponsorship pages set up by Bike 4 Cancer. The charity has extensive connections in the cycling sector and has played a key role in the organisation of Ark to Arc.
Bike 4 Cancer is a cancer respite charity with a sporting focus. It also helps to fund research and makes grants to palliative care centres. Half of the money raised through its Ark to Arc sponsorship pages will go to the charity and the other half to Ark Cancer Centre Charity.
The success of Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal will ensure a range of support services and complementary therapies are available alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in a calm and uplifting environment.
The new centre is largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT). It is earmarked for a location in the Basingstoke and Deane area, and if the preferred site near to Junction 7 of the M3 is approved, it will be easily accessible to everyone in the HHFT region.
There’s still time to sponsor the individual Ark to Arc riders by going to www.arkriders.co.uk, where you can see the rider profile pages.