South Shields cyclist hitting the road for food bank charity

Tony Errington is in training for his Loch Ness bike ride
Tony Errington is in training for his Loch Ness bike ride

A cyclist is hoping to pedal to a fundraising success in aid of a South Tyneside charity.

Tony Errington is gearing up to take part in a 66-mile bike ride arolund Loch Ness in Scotland, next month.

Hospitality and Hope South Tyneside

Hospitality and Hope South Tyneside

It will be the first time the 45-year-old from Whiteleas has embarked on the route which includes 4,000ft of climbing through the Scottish hills.

The feat of endurance on April 23 - which he is aiming to complete in five and a half hours - will be in aid of South Tyneside charity Hospitality and Hope.

The charity provides support to vulnerable people and families in crisis through it’s soup kitchen service and South Tyneside Foodbank.

Mr Errington said: “I’ve never ridden in Scotland before, so when I saw the course, I thought why not? Why not do it raising funds for someone?

I couldn’t believe that in this day and age people needed to rely on this kind of thing.

Tony Errington

“I do cycle a bit and I do 20 to 30 miles regularly but never on a route like this. It is going to be pushing me to my limit.

“I have done a 100-mile ride and a 60-mile ride once, but I haven’t done anything more than 30-miles in the past two years.

“They close the roads off to traffic for the ride, but re-open them after five and a half hours, so I need to make sure I’m done by then.”

Mr Errington has already raised more than £400 for the charity through his fundraising page , however, is aiming to hit a target of £2,000.

He added: “I chose Hospitality and Hope after seeing a mobile soup kitchen in Newcastle and I couldn’t believe that in this day and age people needed to rely on this kind of thing.

“When I came back home I looked to see if there was something similar in South Shields and found Hospitality and Hope. I read their bio and thought I had to do something for this charity.”

Hospitality and Hope, based in Hampden Street, South Shields, was launched 13 years ago and has gone from strength to strength.

It provides food parcels to those in need and runs a twice-weekly soup kitchen where people can come and chat.

They also provide nearly new clothes for sale and a library service.

Anyone who would like to donate to Mr Errington’s fundraising venture visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/tonyerrington1

*For information on Hospitality and Hope or to make a donation of food, clothes or books visit http://www.hospitalityandhope.co.uk