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Bellmans Senior Director Philip Belcher stepped in at the last minute to host the Pedal the Pond charity auction on 9th December, helping them to raise over £100,000 for mental health charity The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The stand-out lot was a fabulous holiday to Ibiza, which realised £22,000 after competitive bidding in the room.
The principal aim of the Pedal the Pond expedition is to encourage young people to take a more pragmatic stance against mental illness. A statement issued by the pedalling team declares that "the idea is so maverick in nature that we hope it will generate public interest in both what we're doing and our charity - The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. We are four young men in the demographic that statistics show are the most affected by suicide. We hope that by talking about Mental Health in the public sphere we will encourage more people to get talking as well as educating themselves and others on the issue. We want to use our position alongside the charity to help educate people on the signs of depression, which could help save lives".
In terms of the crossing itself, this route is dubbed - in rowing terms - the toughest race on the planet, spanning just over 3000 miles from Gran Canaria (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua (17oN 61oW). If successful this will be the first time in human history this particular route has ever been completed by pedal power alone.
The team is hoping to complete the journey in 30-50 days thus creating world records for the fastest pedalo, first four man pedalo, youngest pedaloers, first pedal powered crossing on this route and potentially the fastest man-powered crossing of the Atlantic.
Philip said of the charity auction that "it was an honour to represent Bellmans and contribute to such a worthy cause. We wish every success to the team as they undertake their incredible adventure".
For more information, don't hesitate to visit www.pedalthepond.com