A WORCESTER school teacher is gearing up for a gruelling three-day cycle challenge from London to Paris to raise money for two charities.

Richard Cook, a year 1 teacher at King’s Hawford, will be saddling up for the mammoth cross-channel bike ride in aid of the Worcestershire Breast Care Unit and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Mr Cook, who has taught at the school for the past 12 years, hopes to tackle the entire route by covering up to 90 miles a day, raising £2,000 for the two charities – selected by the children who attend the school as part of a wider fundraising effort.

A keen cyclist, who took part in the Hadrian’s Wall ‘Coast to Coast’ event last year, Richard will be joined by a group of friends from university and former King’s Hawford colleague, Callum Leatherdale.

They will travel from the Kent countryside to Dover before crossing the Channel to northern France, where he will pass the war memorial and cemeteries of the Somme before arriving at the finish line beneath the Eiffel Tower.

Mr Cook, who lives in St Johns, said: “Training has been going very well despite the awful wet weather we had earlier this year.

“But now spring has arrived, I hope to cycle around 200 miles each week in preparation for what is going to be a daunting challenge. "The fact that we are raising money for two fantastic causes and the people they help every day is keeping us going.

“We can’t wait to get going.

"It promises to be a great event and we’re all fairly confident we can make it to Paris in one piece.”

The bike ride is planned for from Friday, May 9 to Sunday, May 11.

The Worcestershire Breast Care Unit Campaign aims to raise funds to help open and develop a dedicated breast care unit at Worcester Royal Hospital. It would help treat and support around 600 people who are diagnosed in the county each year.

RNLI is a charity that saves lives at sea by providing a 24 hour search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland. Its volunteers save the lives of over 20 people each day.

To support Mr Cook, readers can donate by visiting two Just Giving sites - justgiving.com/Richard-Cook16 and justgiving.com/Richard-Cook17