Norman Lamb and Jeremy Goss prepare to pedal for good causes

A Norfolk MP and a former Norwich City footballer will be pedalling nearly 300 miles together this summer to raise over �10,000 for two county causes.

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, and ex-Canaries player Jeremy Goss plan to set off on August 3 on a sponsored cycle ride from Norwich to Arnhem, in the Netherlands, in aid of the Benjamin Foundation and the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind.

And this week Mr Lamb dropped in on the Benjamin Foundation project which his sponsorship will benefit when he visited North Walsham to look at progress on a pioneering building scheme at Winston Court, which provides supported accommodation to homeless young people.

Residents and former residents are being taught traditional building skills which they are using to construct four extra move-on flats next to Winston Court, which accommodates nine people, plus two existing move-on flats.

Two of the new flats, which include a number of energy-saving features, should be finished this autumn and will provide a half-way house between sharing accommodation with others in the hostel and living independently in the community. The cyclists' fund-raising will help furnish them.

Project manager Chris Snelgrove said the hope was that the young builders' newly-acquired skills would help them to find permanent employment.

A new firm, Benjamin's Building Company Ltd, has been formed to tender for other contracts and Mr Snelgrove work for the Victory Housing Trust was a strong probability.

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Mr Lamb described the project as a 'fantastic and innovative scheme.' He added: 'It's a combination of green building and giving skills to local youngsters which might lead to employment.'

The MP had a taste of long-distance cycling last year when he pedalled from London to Paris for charity. He will be sending letters to households throughout North Walsham asking residents to support his latest venture.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Mr Lamb can do so via http://tinyurl.com/norman-lamb or ring the Benjamin Foundation on 01692 500999.