School gardener cycles from London to Paris for charity

W34261H12 Norman Ryan, Sharon Norman and Andrew Norman cycled from London to Paris.
W34261H12 Norman Ryan, Sharon Norman and Andrew Norman cycled from London to Paris.

A GARDENER cycled from London to Paris to raise money for a heart charity.

Andrew Norman, who tends to the walled garden at Windlesham House School in Washington, came up with the idea for the challenge after seeing an advert for people to ride the same distance for charity.

The 58-year-old, of Rydal Close, Littlehampton, said: “I’m not a cyclist as such, but I saw this ad and thought, ‘I could do that!’. Sadly, that ride was vastly approaching and it was too late.”

Andrew, therefore, decided to organise his own event, which started in Hyde Park in London at the end of August, and ended in Paris four days later.

Along with seven other friends and family members, Andrew cycled to Guildford and then on to Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, for their first overnight stop at Sumners Farm in Barns Green. The next day, they headed towards Shoreham, and then Seaford, before waking the next day to continue to Newhaven and catch the ferry.

The last two days involved the team heading to Gisors and then on to Paris where they finished at the Jardin des Tulleries behind the Arc de Triomphe. Andrew said: “The ride went very well and everyone who took part really enjoyed themselves. It was 256 miles and we arrived in Paris three-and-a-half hours after our expected arrival time, after four and a half days cycling, and I don’t think that was too bad.”

Andrew’s chosen charity was Cardiac Rehab Support (CRS), which helps cardiac patients and their carers from Worthing and Southlands hospitals. It is run by ex-cardiac patients and carers and provides an umbrella of support in numerous ways.

Their work includes offering a visiting service for patients recently admitted to hospital and providing an environment for supervised exercise sessions with information on diet, leisure facilities and rehabilitation programmes. The charity also helps to educate the public in the needs of cardiac patients and encourages the interest and support of the public.

He added: “I chose this charity as they helped me after my heart surgery a couple of years ago, so it’s a charity close to home.”

Andrew has not counted the final amount yet, but hoped he has raised around £2,000.

The group can still be sponsored at