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Lichfield shop manager helps raise £170,000 for charity

A Lichfield shop manager has helped raise more than £170,000 for charity.

Kevin Aird, from Marks & Spencer, has covered 1,000 miles and climbed the five highest mountains of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales in just seven days.

Kevin Aird

Kevin Aird

The 31-year-old took on the challenge as a group of 16 employees and friends, dubbed the Peaky Bikers, and believes it is the first time anybody has completed the route in such a way.

The money will be split between Prostate Cancer UK and the Marie Keating Foundation, a cancer awareness and education charity based in Ireland.

The two charities were chosen because Kevin and the rest of his Peaky Bikers team had personal experience of the disease.

Kevin, food section manager at the Lichfield store, said: “I lost my grandparents to cancer but I also worked alongside a fellow M&S manager who had prostate cancer and quite an aggressive strain.

“His was a success story and he was back at work within weeks. It is quite close to my heart and shows that the fundraising we have done to help these charities and their research can really help people like him.

“We’ve done various charity events through M&S over the years and this was just an idea that came from us trying to do something a little bit more extreme – a bit mad even.

“It was always going to be a question as to whether we would manage it or not, and on the sixth day there was a point at which it seemed we weren’t going to make it, but we did in the end.”

The group averaged 137 miles of cycling every day – considerably more than the Tour de France bikers, who tackle 99 miles each day of their challenge.

“We don’t think anyone has previously cycled between all of the peaks, let alone tried to do the lot in seven days,” Kevin added.

“But we wanted something that would really push the boundaries of what we could physically do.

“Everyone had their low points, when they were so tired or just having a bad moment but we all pulled together and thankfully we did it.

“On day six we were nearly beaten, but we rallied and in the end we did our fastest mountain and best cycling that day. Everybody clubbed together, the adrenaline kicked in, and we were up and down Scafell Pike in record time.”

Having worked at M&S since leaving school, Kevin was based in Birmingham before moving to Three Spires M&S branch in May.

The store backed his fundraising efforts by holding a special day to help.

Kevin said: “The staff and all the customers really supported me. I spent a day on a static bike at the front of the shop and we had loads of donations. We raised £1,000 through that and for a store our size that’s brilliant.”

People can still donate by visiting the group’s online JustGiving page.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.