Nick Guttmann (our Taunton-based Head of Humanitarian Division), and his bike have clocked up 100 years together – and they're both set for the challenge of completing 100 miles in the Prudential RideLondon event on 29 July 2018.
Nick, 62, has recently returned from Haiti, where he saw our work supporting communities still recovering from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. He also recently visited the Jamtoli refugee camp in Bangladesh; the camp is currently home to 50,000 Rohingya refugees.
His marathon effort will see him tackle London's streets and the Surrey Hills to raise funds for Christian Aid, as well as the Africa Educational Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society.
'Age doesn't matter'
Nick said: “My bike and I are 100 years old and we need a challenge! It’s not going to be easy, but I am doing the ride to prove that age does not matter and that a bike and rider can still do this and much more besides.
“I bought my Claude Butler road bike in Putney in September 1979 when I was 23 years old. I never thought then that I would still be riding it today aged 62 – but here I am.
In Bangladesh I saw the incredible changes that Christian Aid has made to the lives of over 50,000 vulnerable Rohingya refugees
- Nick Guttmann, Head of Humanitarian Division.
Why Nick is taking on the challenge
“I want to raise some much-needed funds for three charities which are close to my heart", Nick said. “In Haiti and Bangladesh I was able to see the transforming power of what our supporters and partners achieve when they stand together for dignity, equality and justice.
“In Haiti we have been providing homes for people who lost everything after Hurricane Matthew and pushing for improvements in the country’s governmental response. In Bangladesh I saw the incredible changes that Christian Aid has made to the lives of over 50,000 vulnerable Rohingya refugees since I was first there last autumn.
"Provision of fresh drinking water is much improved; so too is the provision of facilities for women and children to help them cope with the trauma and aftermath of the conflict they fled.
“The Africa Educational Trust is also doing amazing work providing an education for children in Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya, including a programme in South Sudan where schoolgirls are supported through school by a school mother who ensures they do not become a child bride.
“Then finally, over the past year my father has developed vascular dementia. My godmother suffers from it and my mother-in-law also suffered from severe dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society is doing much-needed research into all forms of dementia and has pledged to hugely scale up its research aimed at improving support for sufferers like my father."
How Nick is preparing for the Prudential RideLondon event
“Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying to fit in as much training as I can on the Quantocks and Exmoor. It’s been hard work with some very steep climbs and descents. I don’t know what was worse: cycling up onto Exmoor or down Porlock Hill – the ascent was exhausting, the descent terrifying!
'Please do help me support these charities if you can'
Nick is aiming to raise £1,000 for each of the three charities.
To donate, visit Nick's JustGiving page. You can choose which of his three chosen charities to support, or have your donation split three ways.