Staff at three local Tesco stores swapped trolleys for trainers at the weekend, to take part in a festive sponsored cycle ride covering a distance equivalent to the journey from north Norfolk to Lapland.

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The three-day, pedal-powered challenge, which saw supermarkets at Sheringham, Aylsham and Stalham raise more than £1,000, was part of a store-wide event run by Tesco in aid of national charity Diabetes UK.

More than 30 staff at Sheringham’s new Cromer Road Tesco Metro each put in a 30-minute stint on an exercise bike installed in the store foyer and, cheered on by customers, powered their way to the 2,100-mile target.

Sixteen-year-old checkout assistant Dannielle Dawson, who took her turn on the bike on Saturday morning, was keen to take part as her grandmother has diabetes.

“I’m doing it for my nanny Wendy,” she said. “I’ve seen her get really bad and I have had to go and buy jelly babies to get her blood sugar up.”

Customer assistant Andre Silva, 23, said the sponsored cycle had led to a bit of healthy competition among staff.

“We all been trying to beat each other’s score and do more miles, which is great as it is for a really good cause,” he said.

Mr Silva, who managed to clock up 13.13km in 30 minutes, was pipped to the post by bakery assistant Matthew Lingwood, who achieved the top score of 14km.

At Stalham, 20 staff donned onesies to take part in the challenge, attracting more than £350 in customer donations.

Better service manager Stacey Short said: “There have been a lot of laughs with customers who have stopped for a chat, and doing the challenge has created a bit of fun at work at the same time as raising money for a great cause.”

Ten Tesco staff at Aylsham took part in the bike ride, donning festive garb including Christmas hats and antlers.

“We had one staff member turn up in full lycra cycling gear, which raised a few laughs,” said better service manager Melissa Horner.

Staff at the store raised more than £500 in customer donations.

“We were aiming for £300 so we were pleased to have raised so much,” Ms Horner added. “I think that, because so many people are affected by diabetes, people can relate to it and we even had a couple of customers hop on the bike and take a turn.”

During the three-day challenge, Tesco stores across the country were aiming to raise a total of £1million for Diabetes UK, which offers support and advice to the UK’s 3.8 million diabetes sufferers.

For more information, visit www.diabetes.org.uk

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