A team of 40 riders drawn from the transport and logistics industry has completed a 505km cycle challenge across southern Malawi in soaring temperatures, pedalling through the spectacular Liwonde National Park to raise more than £205,000 towards Transaid’s projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
The funds raised adds to the £25,000 raised by the 16 riders who took on Hadrian’s Cycleway over two days in September.
The combined amount will be used by Transaid to focus on improving road safety and increasing access to healthcare in rural communities.
Florence Bearman, head of fundraising at Transaid, said: “It was incredible to complete the challenges with so many friends from across the sector who are committed to supporting Transaid’s life-saving work.
“To everyone who jumped in the saddle or sponsored a friend, family member or colleague, we are hugely grateful.”
Commenting on her experience in Malawi, she added: “The anticipation ahead of Malawi was huge; for many of us it had been three years since we signed up for the original 2020 dates, and we were all eager to reach the tranquil shores of Lake Malawi.
“The experience didn’t disappoint – not even the longest 135km section on day three when temperatures reached 38 degrees Celsius, nor the steep climb up the Zomba Plateau on day four, dampened anyone’s enthusiasm!”
Tom Southall, policy director at the Cold Chain Federation, one of the riders in Malawi added: “This was an incredible journey with an amazing group of people, and humbling too to experience the warmth and friendliness of the Malawians.
“The value of Transaid’s work is incalculable in these communities, building road safety awareness as well as programmes to support better standards of emergency transportation. I can't overstate how much of an incredible experience this was and would recommend getting involved with future Transaid events and challenges!”
Cycle Malawi 2022 was backed by Gold-sponsor UKWA, and saw the riders tackle the full route over five days in the saddle. It marked a return to the country which hosted Transaid’s first ever cycle challenge in 2006.
Over the years Transaid has worked on both access to health care and driver training programmes in Malawi, the most recent of which involved bicycle ambulances - a highly effective lifesaving mode of transport in rural Africa.
The riders who took part in Cycle Malawi represented 24 firms from across the industry, including ABE Ledbury, BigChange, Burton’s Biscuit Company, CAM Systems, Capex Commercial Partners, Cold Chain Federation, Clubbly, Cross Acre, Dalessi International Transport, EV Cargo, FloPlast, GRS Building Products, GXO Logistics, Hankook, Hoyer Petrolog, Innovate 360, LDH La Doria, MAN Truck & Bus, Marks & Spencer, Microlise, PF Whitehead Logistics, Problems Solved, Scala and TRS Tyres.
Last month’s Hadrian’s Cycleway saw riders taking part from companies including Alpine Travel, Backhouse Jones, Blue Cube, Boughey Distribution, Dawson Group plc, EORI (UK), Idris Logistics and Sworder Belcher Holt.