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Simons, M&S & How Planning complete Charity cycle from M&S Cheshire Oaks to Paris Champs Elysees

Team members from Simons Group, Marks and Spencer and How Planning have completed a charity bike ride, impressively covering in excess of 450 miles from the 'biggest and greenest' M&S at Cheshire Oaks to the M&S Store on the Champs Elysees in Paris .

Setting off from the Cheshire Oaks store least Friday, Chris Newsome (Simons Group Developments), Rob Morray and James Rayner (M&S Property Department) and Richard Woodford (How Planning) arrived at the Champs Elysees store in Paris mid afternoon on Thursday, 28th September.

Chris Newsome had a few words to share when he arrived in Paris...

'I am just so delighted that we all managed to complete the ride. It was a real challenge for us, made even more so by the generally awful weather and strikes by the ferry company. I won't forget departing Cheshire Oaks after the charities came to see us off and the first view we had of the Eiffel Tower as we sped through the busy Parisian streets. It was a really great achievement certainly for all of us. The logistics and organisation worked seamlessly which was down to our team back at base and Martin (McGread, Simons Developments) looking after us on the roads.'

Rob Morray from M&S Property said:

“The ride was really well organised by Simons and it’s amazing how smoothly things went. It was the first time I’d done anything like it and I really enjoyed it (for the most part!). I’m not sure if I’m a born cyclist but as we got to Paris in one piece I’ll take some comfort in that!”

The cyclists were sending regular updates via several Twitter accounts (@Simons_Group, @Izy_SimonsGroup & @JimmyTwoWheels) along with the Simons Group facebook page sending updates from the road as well.

The aim is to raise �10,000 for three small charities in the Ellesmere Port area...

OASIS Centre for Young People runs youth projects and a junior youth club. Open 5 nights a week and situated in Ellesmere Port town centre, it is run by a voluntary management committee who employ the staff to run the junior club.

Golden Star ABC Sports & Fitness Centre is an amateur boxing club, working with children and young people from aged 9 upwards. Open 3 nights a week, heads coach Carl Teasdale has aspirations for Golden Star to be open 6 nights a week and hopefully to work in partnership with the council and police to target some of the hardest to reach young people in the area.

EPC Gymnastics is situated on the Rossmore Industrial Estate in Ellesmere Port and has worked tirelessly for the past two years to provide a state of the art 5 piece gym in Ellesmere Port. Head coach Ron Bell won Cheshire and Warrington Coach of the Year this year and has come up with a number of projects to engage disadvantaged young people in gymnastics. He has also set up a scheme with the police where they can issue young people who are engaging in anti social behaviour with a ticket that they can use in the gym.

The charities were shortlisted by the cyclists for the bike ride with the help of EPNAVCO (Ellesmere Port and Neston Association of Voluntary and Community Organisations). EPNAVCO provide support to voluntary and community organisations in Ellesmere Port and Neston, helping with funding for charities, training for volunteers/employees and volunteer services.

If you would like to donate, please visit the JustGiving page ( www.justgiving.com/epnavco )set up through EPNAVCO for the bike ride, or contact Sarah Grace (Sarah_Grace@SimonsGroup).

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