Sheffield teens in hero charity cycle

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A group of Sheffield teenagers have raised hundreds of pounds for injured soldiers after going on a trip of a lifetime.

The school friends from Chaucer Secondary School, in Parson Cross, raised around £700 for Help For Heroes after taking part in a sponsored bike ride.

They completed a 25-mile cycle around Derwent Valley in Derbyshire last weekend.

The group - Joe McArdle, Ibrahim Mohammed, Lacey Booker, Lawrence Furness and Ashley Mercer - decided to raise money for charity after going on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa in February last year.

Their school has links with the Motherwell community in Port Elizabeth and the teenagers were part of a second group to visit the area.

In preparation for the trip, the pupils were encouraged to take part in fundraising activities, which included a sponsored cycle ride.

Jack, aged 16, said: “When we went to South Africa we did a 12-mile bike ride to raise money for the trip.

“It was a brilliant trip, once in a lifetime. We camped there and it was a completely different experience from what we were used to.

“The idea for raising money came from that and we decided that doing another sponsored ride would be a good idea.”

Joe and his friends helped to create a football field for a local school while in South Africa.

Jack’s mum, Sarah McArdle, explained that his desire to join the Army has resulted in him regularly volunteering for Help For Heroes.

“Joe is always doing things for Help For Heroes and wants to join the Army,” she said. “I’m so proud of him doing this.”

The cycle ride went without a hitch, despite Joe’s bike chain coming off during the journey.

“Luckily a nice man stopped and helped him get his chain back on so they could finish the ride.

“They did it in about three-and-a-half hours,” added Sarah.

Help For Heroes offers support to wounded or injured soldiers and their families. It aids them in various ways, including building and maintaining recovery centres.