Burgess Hill man, 71, set to tackle 500 mile cycle for Canine Partners-

Bob Hughes plans to cycle through Mizen Head, County Cork, to Malin Head, and County Donegal
Bob Hughes plans to cycle through Mizen Head, County Cork, to Malin Head, and County Donegal

A Burgess Hill man is set to take on a 500 mile bike ride for a charity for assistance dogs.

Bob Hughes is preparing to take on the incredible cycling challenge from Mizen Head, County Cork, to Malin Head, County Donegal in May to raise monies for Canine Partners.

The 71-year-old explained how his wife has a dear friend who has applied for one of the charity’s assistance dogs and has been matched with one of them.

He said: “In 2017 I completed the Lands End to John O’Groats bike ride as a way to challenge myself, however it seemed silly not to raise money for charity so this time I have chosen a charity close to my heart – Canine Partners.”

Canine Partners is a national charity that trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with physical disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.

The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and helping to undress a person.

They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.

More than 1.2 million people in the UK use a wheelchair, and a significant number of those would benefit from a canine partner.

The dogs are carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging.

The charity is working in partnership with Help for Heroes, and aims to train dogs to meet the needs of people with even the most complex disabilities including those in the armed forces.

“I have no particular time I want to do the bike ride in and no personal best in mind, but I hope to raise at least £500,” said Bob.

“I wanted to take this on firstly to push myself before I get too old, but raising money for charity also makes it worthwhile.”

To sponsor Bob’s bike ride, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BobHughesCycleRide