A South Shields businessman is helping Joe McElderry get in the saddle for his latest charity challenge.
Wayne Foreman of Way Forward Cycles is donating a bike to the singer for his 250-mile ride.
The 24-year-old X Factor champ, from Westoe, is setting off on his third mammoth cycling challenge next month alongside a team of his friends and family to raise cash for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The ride, dubbed Cycle the Circle of Life, will see Joe set off from the Customs House, in Mill Dam, on July 14, cycling 250 miles around the country and returning to the venue, where he once worked as a dish washer, on July 17.
People are invited to wave Joe off at 8.30am on July 14, and welcome him back three days later, when he’s due to arrive at around 4.30pm. His bike will then be auctioned off to raise cash for the charity.
Joe, who is currently starring as Joseph in a UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, said: “With being in Joseph I haven’t had much of a chance to get out on my bike, but doing the show is keeping me quite fit anyway.
“I just want to say a big thank you to Wayne for the bike and for all the other businesses that are helping out or sponsoring us.
“I have to thank my friends and family who are doing the ride too. They organise everything and pay for it all themselves, nothing is taken out of the sponsorship meaning all the money goes to the Teenage Cancer Trust.”
Joe, who also triumphed on reality shows Popstar to Opera Star and The Jump, is a patron of the charity which offers support to young people with cancer and their families.
The cycles have raised tens of thousands for the charity, and young people who have been helped by the organisation will be heading to the Customs House to meet Joe when he arrives back.
A host of local businesses have got on board to support Joe on the ride, including Ashley Timber, Colmans who will be providing fish and chips to welcome the riders home, Dicksons who are supplying sandwiches along the way, the Customs House, Highfield Motors who are providing a support vehicle, D-Line, SES, NRL, and Electric Centre.
Wayne, who owns the bike shop in Sea Winnings Way, said: “As a local business we are really happy to help Joe with his charity cycle. We hope the bike treats him well and that he raises a lot for the charity.”
Any local businesses or people who would like to sponsor the event, should go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ABCTCT