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United We Stand editor and journalist Andy Mitten has cycled almost 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a monumental effort to raise money for Manchester United Foundation’s first aid programme.
At the time of finishing, Andy had raised over £15,000 for the project and to celebrate his efforts, Manchester United will match the amount – therefore increasing the donation to over £30,000.
The monies raised will go towards ensuring that children across Greater Manchester will learn the basics in life-saving skills. To do this, the Foundation’s education officers will be delivering first aid training in schools and communities.
Surpassing his initial target of £5,000, Andy’s charity bike ride will facilitate training and provide resources to thousands of young people so they can learn defibrillation, CPR and the basics in first aid.
This will enable young people to make a life saving intervention should an emergency arise. By exceeding the target, the programme will be expanded across Foundation community projects, working with external charity organisations that equip young people affected by violence with the skills to become lifesavers in their communities.
Andy’s nine-day journey saw him set off from Land’s End as he embarked on a mammoth 970-mile route from the bottom of Great Britain to the very top.
Through the hills of Cornwall – to his surprise – into Bath and over the Severn Bridge, the United We Stand editor racked up the kilometres in the first few days of his challenge, as he powered his way up towards the north west.
Repping United colours on the roads, Andy reached the halfway point in the Lake District on the fifth day, warmly accompanied by fellow Reds.
With over 200 kilometres still to go from there, he reached Scotland on Thursday, the sixth day, and with news of our victory over Newcastle United fresh in his sails on the Sunday, Andy completed his epic route by arriving at John O’Groats.
In a message of support for his efforts, Manchester United have agreed to match fund Andy’s total, and delivered the news to him during his final days in Scotland.
A delighted Andy said: “I was at a low point – you get them when you’re cycling so far – and to hear them say that they were going to match the amount raised so far, really lifted my spirits. It was tough. The toughest thing I’ve ever done.
“We’re talking about thousands of children [that could be impacted], learning key life saving skills. I’ve already had one schoolteacher get in touch with me and she told me that they had lost one of their students.
The road is long. Did it. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. Never again. Thanks for all your support. Manchester United said today they’ll double any amount raised. https://t.co/hm2gYjwonF Now how do I get from here to Bern on Tues? pic.twitter.com/Vo5XUemtQN
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) September 12, 2021He continued: “She felt very passionately about this and said that they would love the Foundation to come into the school as while the teachers are taught these skills, the pupils are not. For me, this is just a perfect fit and I hope to bring these people together so more good can come of this. I’d like to thank everybody for supporting me, including the Foundation.”
John Shiels MBE, chief executive of Manchester United Foundation, said: “What Andy has achieved mentally and physically, has been incredible. There is nothing better than giving the gift of saving someone else’s life, and thanks to his determination and strength we’ll be able to facilitate this for thousands of children across Manchester.
“We cannot thank Andy enough, and to all the fans that have donated towards the project, I want you to know that your kind contribution ensures that the impact of these skills will be felt for years to come.”
Manchester United Foundation will look to roll out the first aid programme over the 2021/22 season. To follow and support the progress sign up to the Manchester United Foundation’s bimonthly newsletter: bit.ly/CommunityReds.
You can still donate in support of Andy’s efforts here.