Find out how holiday firm staff raised hundreds for youngsters with learning disabilities

Hays Travel Houghton branch staff take to their bikes to raise money for the Cheesy Waffles Project.
Hays Travel Houghton branch staff take to their bikes to raise money for the Cheesy Waffles Project.

Charitable staff have raised more than £800 to help children with learning disabilities.

Staff from Hays Travel, in Houghton, took on an 18-mile cycling challenge from Sunderland to South Shields after being inspired by the work of the Cheesy Waffles Project.

Hays Travel Houghton branch staff James Usher, Kayleigh Purdy and Mary Carroll, take to their bikes to raise money for the Cheesy Waffles Project.

Hays Travel Houghton branch staff James Usher, Kayleigh Purdy and Mary Carroll, take to their bikes to raise money for the Cheesy Waffles Project.

A team of seven completed the ride under four hours, setting off from 11.30am on Sunday, September 29, and finishing around 3pm at the Sanddancer pub on South Shields seafront.

The group effort has raised about £877 for the charity, which helps children aged from 11 to 16 with learning disabilities.

And more money is expected to come in from sponsorship in the next few weeks.

Mary Carroll, branch manager at Hays Travel in Houghton, was delighted with the success of the initiative.

She said: “Every year John Hays likes us to take part in helping charities in the community to give something back.

“I had heard of the project, as I know a woman whose little boy has Down’s syndrome and the charity is so beneficial to him.

“They are based at Belmont Community Centre and do things like activities and trips out with the kids and courses like the Duke of Edinburgh.

“The charity knows how much we have raised so far and they are delighted.”

Those joining Mary Carroll in the challenge from Hays Travel were assistant manager Kayleigh Purdy, travel consultant Courtney Robson and apprentices James Usher and Megan Robson. Kayleigh’s partner James Ibinson and dad Gary Purdy also took part.