By CHRIS HILL
Monday, August 13, 2012
The restaurant manager at Cinema City in Norwich is gearing up for his stint on the inaugural Great Picturehouse Bike Relay, a fundraising cycle ride spanning the length of the country.
Andrew Shorthose will join other staff from the group of independent cinema operators aiming to cycle to each of the country’s 20 Picturehouse venues to raise money for Plan UK, a charity which helps families in 50 of the world’s poorest countries.
The first leg of the relay begins at the Belmont in Aberdeen, and it will end in Exeter. Mr Shorthose will cover the gruelling 130-mile Norwich to Greenwich leg of the 1,270-mile route on September 13, starting from 4am.
He said: “It’s nice to be able to help improve the lives of people thousands of miles away just by getting on my bike. The effort I’m making cycling to London in a day is nothing compared to having to walk miles every day in the Equatorial sun to fetch water just to survive.”
During the past four years, Picturehouse Cinemas have supported water and sanitation projects with Plan UK in Niger – a country where water is precious and over half the population are forced to drink dirty, dangerous water.
Since 2008, the group has raised a total of £95,627, built three boreholes and given nearly 1,000 people access to clean water.
With the last fundraising weekend for the group raising £15,000, the aim this year is to double it to £30,000. Cinema City’s individual target is £1,500, of which they hope to raise £800 through Mr Shorthose’s bike ride.
General manager Jack Thompson said: “We hope our customers and friends will help us reach our total by supporting or sponsoring Andrew during this epic ride for what is an incredibly important charity providing the basics for people living one of the poorest parts of the world.”
nTo sponsor Mr Shorthose, go to the justgiving page www.justgiving.com/NorwichRelayBikeRide or visit the cinema in St Andrew’s Street.