Simon Cousins will be swapping his desk for his bike to take part in the Five Valleys Sportive, one of Wales’ most famous cycle race routes to raise money for local radio station, SWINDON 105.5.
Simon, a Developer Engineer for Smiths News is taking up the challenge as part of the company’s Community Link-Up programme, which encourages employees to raise money for communities and charities.
Simon (pictured right with daughter Laura) will start the most famous route in Wales on Sunday 31 August. The Five Valleys route is popular due to its arduous course taking in some of the most historical mountain climbs in South Wales.
Talking about the challenge ahead, Simon said: “I have been inspired to do this cycle ride to raise money for Swindon 105.5 because my daughter, Laura, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, has really benefitted from volunteering at the radio station and now I would like to give something back.
"Swindon 105.5 does an amazing job in supporting and promoting community projects and giving young people the skills and confidence to find work.”
“The station is totally reliant on grants, sponsorship and good-will so it is really important that money is raised for this important local service.
"A special mention must go to Shirley Ludford, the station manager, because without her passion and desire to help less privileged people the station would not exist – she is a real star.”
To prepare for the tough challenge ahead, Simon has been training for the last 4 months, including cycling up the White Horse Hill, Uffington, which has a 10% gradient.
“I’m looking forward to riding over the Bwlch and Rhigos passes with my two good friends, who are accompanying me on the challenge, but I’m not looking forward to the possibility of getting caught in wet and windy weather and the final section of the ride where there are some very steep sections.” said Simon.
Shirley is pleased with such great support from the community.
“We are a can-do organisation, devoting as much time as needed to help enable individual volunteers and trainees. Laura has developed so much in confidence and I am very proud of her. I am also delighted at Simon’s enthusiasm in putting in so much personal effort to express his belief in our work; he in turn deserves support for his rather arduous challenge which will raise both profile and essential funds for the town’s non commercial community radio service, so a huge thank-you in advance of his journey”.
Help Simon reach his target of raising £1,000, at: www.localgiving.com/radioswindon