Lockdown cycle ride boosts charity funds

Cyclists Ali Longman and Matt Neal set themselves a challenge to beat the January lockdown blues and cycle 1000 kilometres to raise funds for Home-Start Winchester and Cancer Research UK.


The duo completed their “Keep Calm and Pedal” marathon last weekend with a gentle 30k ride around their home in Sutton Scotney. In doing so they have shattered their initial fundraising goal of £1000 and raised over £2,500 for the two charities.


We needed a New Year challenge and something to focus on, said Ali. Last autumn should have been our wedding and now we’re just hoping it will go ahead this year. But that’s all out of our control.

The charities were easy to choose. My Mum has been a volunteer for Home-Start Winchester for many years and they do such brilliant work with young families. Matt and I both had loving stable childhoods and that’s what every child deserves. Tragically Matt lost his Mum to breast cancer nine years ago – and that’s something that should happen to no one.

 We’re so pleased to have completed this challenge, really, really grateful for the amazing support – and we’ll probably take a break from cycling for a few days, she laughed.


Matt’s IT business Elitech Solutions has doubled the sponsorship raised on the couple’s fundraising page here


A spokesman for Home-Start Winchester called the ride ‘a wonderful start to the year.

We know fundraising will be difficult this year – but when we move out of lockdown the demand for our services is likely to be greater than ever. Huge congratulations to Ali and Matt and thank you so much.


Photo Caption: We did it! Ali Longman and Matt Neal raise their bikes – triumphant after their 1000 kilometre ride through January.


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