Friends from Splashpoint Leisure Centre in Worthing to cycle to Sicily for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice

Cycling friends Spencer Hodge and Dan Clark are always up for a challenge and are now set for their most difficult ride to date.

The pair, who work at Splashpoint Leisure Centre in Worthing, will be setting off on Saturday to cycle 1,700-miles to Sicily in 24 days.

South Downs Leisure employees Spencer Hodge and Dan Clark are cycling to Sicily for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice

South Downs Leisure employees Spencer Hodge and Dan Clark are cycling to Sicily for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice

The challenge tops their Worthing to Alicante ride two years ago by about 570 miles and will mean covering between 60 and 100 miles each day.

Spencer and Dan want to raise £10,000 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

Spencer said: “We are cycling over 1,700 miles unsupported and know it won’t be easy. But it will all be worth it as we know that we’re raising money for such an important charity.”

Travelling through France, Switzerland and Italy, the journey will include stops in Paris, Milan, Rome and Naples, camping in all weather conditions.

Dan said: “Myself and Spencer visited Chestnut Tree House recently to have a tour of the hospice and were blown away by what we saw. The care team work so hard to ensure that the children can make the most of every moment and they are there to support families every step of the way.

“Chestnut Tree House need to raise £6,850 every day to provide all their care services and if that isn’t enough of a reason to fundraise, I’m not sure what is.”

The friends will start their journey at The Rose and Crown, in Montague Street, at 1.30pm on Saturday and say the epic adventure will batter them relentlessly ‘causing an unbelievable amount of stress on the body’.

Caroline Roberts-Quigley, community fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House, said: “This is an incredible challenge that Spencer and Dan are taking on. It costs over £4million every year to provide all our care and less than six per cent of that comes from central government, which means we rely heavily on the generosity and support of our local community.

“Without people like Spencer and Dan, who go above and beyond to fundraise for us, we wouldn’t be able to continue offering vital care to local life-limited children and their families.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/worthing2sicilly to make a donation.