Store boss saddles up for MS charity

ON YOUR BIKE ... store manager John Wilby saddled up for a 273-mile charity challenge.
ON YOUR BIKE ... store manager John Wilby saddled up for a 273-mile charity challenge.

A STORE manager from South Tyneside got in gear for an epic cycling challenge – and his colleagues were with him every mile of the way.

South Shields Sainsbury’s manager John Wilby took on a 273-mile trek from Scarborough to Carlisle in aid of the MS Society – with the zig-zagging route taking in every Sainsbury’s store along the way.

He made a stop along the way to meet up with his staff at the Prince Edward Road store on Friday – and found they had their own pedal powered-plan to raise charity cash.

Mr Wilby’s charity cycle ride is part of the supermarket giant’s Big Ride initiative, which saw hundreds of staff from all over the country taking on a variety of routes for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

But Mr Wilby also rode for the MS Society, while supermarket workers boosted the coffers of the chosen in-store charity by taking part in a static bike ride to match John’s 273-mile journey.

Representatives from the MS Society were also in the store, taking on bag-packing duties, with customers generously donating plenty of funds for the cause.

The South Shields store boss finished his daunting two-wheeled trip yesterday.

Joanne Finnie, trading manager at Sainsbury’s in South Shields, said: “The day went really well. We had a few riders, including John, stop at the store.

“But due to the bad weather, we had to give them hot soup rather than cold drinks. We also had the MS Society in the store bag-packing. Staff are taking turns on the static bike to match John’s 273 miles.

“Customers have been absolutely fantastic in their support.”

n For more information on Mr Wilby’s charity challenge, log on to

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris