Fundraisers near £100k mark after 1,400-mile Lapland ride at city gym

Luke Claxton

Luke Claxton - Credit: Archant

A virtual cycle ride from London to Lapland has boosted the coffers of a fund-raising campaign set up by a Hartford man in memory of his mum.

Luke Claxton started his charity work in 2009 after his mum Veronica died from cancer in 2008 aged just 50 and has managed to raise almost £90,000 for various charities, including CLIC Sargent, Macmillan Cancer Research, The Woodlands at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and other smaller charities.

For his latest venture, on December 27, Luke and a group of friends joined forces at the WMCA gym in Peterborough and over a period of nine hours used exercise bikes to clock up the 1400 miles it would take to travel from London to Lapland. The bike ride raised £5,100 and will boost Luke’s Target 50K campaign, which he launched in September, to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a charity which supports children with cancer and their families.

Luke’s son George, now aged seven, had a mild blood disorder at a year old and was treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Luke became aware of the work CLIC Sargent.

“There was a group of us and we used 10 bikes and most people did between two and three hours and we managed to complete it in just less than nine hours. George is now fully recovered, but we wanted to do something to help CLIC Sargent as we saw the work they did with some really sick children.”

Luke, an electrical engineer, enlists the help of family and friends to take part in fund-raising events and between them over the last five years they have raised £88,000 for Macmillan, The Woodlands and other charities.

The Target 50K Campaign, which he co-ordinates through Facebook and Just Giving, has raised £16,000 to date and Luke hopes various events in the new year, including a Golf Day, football matches, quizzes and marathons will see him reach the target.

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“I like to be busy and after my mum died I needed a nudge to do something and that’s all I do now, I give people a nudge and they do the rest. We come up with the ideas and let other people get on with it and we all have a lot of fun doing it. We have a Golf Day in July, which we do every year, and there is usually a big fund-raising event once a month and then lots of smaller ones as well. It is mostly friends and family mucking in and having some fun and the brilliant part is that we have been able to help so many people. It would be daft not to do it.”

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