Teacher inspires children, raising more than a thousand pounds for charity by cycling across France

Children from Furzeham Primary School in Brixham have been inspired by their teacher, who has cycled hundreds of miles across France to raise money for the school and charity.

Richard Bennett, who is an enthusiastic cyclist away from the classroom, spent six days in the October half term cycling from Bordeaux to Narbonne on the South Coast of France.

This was the final leg in his journey from the English Channel down to the Mediterranean, which he began last year, demonstrating his true pedal power.

More than £1,000 has been raised so far through his Crowdfunder page, with donations from across the community continuing to come in.

The money will be split equally to benefit the school’s Parent and Teacher Association to support them with their Schools Streets initiative, as well as Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mr. Bennett said: “I’ve been passionate about cycling since I was a teenager, and for a long time I’ve wanted to cycle across France, from the English Channel down to the Med. Last year, during the October half-term, I completed the first part of the challenge by cycling from Roscoff to Bordeaux in 6 days, riding 450 miles.

“This year, again during the October half-term, I am pleased to have completed the challenge by riding from Bordeaux to Narbonne on the South Coast.

“Thank you everyone for your support and your very generous donations; I really appreciate it. The cycling was tough at times, but I persevered with a supportive team and I’m glad we hit the finish line with our target.”

The School Streets initiative at Furzeham Primary School and Nursery, which sees the road outside the school closed at drop-off and pick-up times, will benefit from the money raised.

This is to encourage children to be more active while travelling to school, while also making the streets safer for children to walk, run, scoot and stomp into school.

On the school’s Facebook page, a spokesperson for Macmillan commented: “A massive well done to Mr. Bennett for hitting their fundraising target and raising such a phenomenal amount for Macmillan” with another comment saying: “Thank you so much for your wonderful support. We couldn't be there for those living with cancer without amazing people like you.”

Paul Adams, the Headteacher at Furzeham Primary School, praised Richard and the community for coming together for two worthy causes.

He said: “At Furzeham Primary and Nursery School, we’re passionate about bringing the community together for moments that positively impact the lives of our children.

“This fundraiser is a primary example of bringing the community together tso encourage Mr Bennett and support him in hitting his target, which will benefit our school directly as well as the admirable work of Macmillan Cancer Support.”