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X Factor star Joe McElderry’s pedal power for charity

SCOTTISH MISSION ... Joe McEldery with Richie Smith as Team Cycles, who have donated a bike for the ride.

SCOTTISH MISSION ... Joe McEldery with Richie Smith as Team Cycles, who have donated a bike for the ride.

SINGING star Joe McElderry is getting on his bike for another charity trek.

The X Factor and Popstar to Operastar champion, who was 23 on Monday, is set to cycle 275 miles from Glasgow, to Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, then on to his hometown of South Shields.

Joe, of Westoe, who also won Channel 5’s The Jump, is taking on the mammoth challenge in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

The singer is a patron of the charity, which helps young people with cancer and their families.

Joe will begin his journey at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Glasgow, where he will visit patients, before doing the same in Edinburgh.

He’ll finish his journey at the Sand Dancer pub, in Sea Road, South Shields, where he’ll be met by some of the teenagers and staff from the Newcastle unit.

This will be the second cycling challenge Joe has taken on.

Last year, he completed the coast-to-coast from Whitehaven, in Cumbria to South Shields, along with a group of his friends and family members, raising more than £12,000.

He said: “Last year was tough, but it was a great challenge. I’ve done the Great North Run for the Teenage Cancer Trust for the last few years, but because of my schedule last year, I couldn’t do it and decided on the cycle instead.

“We had a lot of fun doing it and raising so much money for the charity was just amazing so I wanted to do something similar again.

“The Teenage Cancer Trust does such a worthwhile job and it really does make a difference to people’s lives.

“I’ve seen where the money goes and the people it helps. So any pain I get along the way on the cycle is definitely worth it.”

He said: “Visiting the cancer units in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I’m sure, will be quite emotional but it’ll give us a chance to have a closer look at the work the charity does.

“I can’t wait to get out there and do it.”

Joe and his fellow riders will set off from Glasgow on August 14 and they’re aiming to arrive back in South Shields at 5pm on Sunday, August 17.

He’ll be completing his ride on a bike, donated by Team Cycles, of Gateshead.

The company’s part-owner Richie Smith said: “We were happy to give Joe a bike because it’s such a great cause. We wish him the best of luck for the ride and hope people get behind him and that it’s not too painful for him.”

The bike will be auctioned off in The Sand Dancer after Joe arrives back in South Shields.

To sponsor Joe for his challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/GENTCT

To find out more about the ride, or to pick up some special merchandise, go to www.joemcelderryofficial.com

Local companies Shepherd Engineering Services (SES) and recruitment firm NRL are sponsoring the ride.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki

 

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