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Pair get on their bikes for Gaza

14 June 2024

Chris Katie Bike fundraiser

Two friends are getting on their bikes for their favourite charity SCIAF, to help people caught up in the war in Gaza. 

SCIAF super supporters Chris Colvin, originally from Ayr, and Katie Ballantyne, originally from Orkney, aim to cycle the 435 miles between their birthplaces to raise funds for SCIAF’s Holy Land Emergency Appeal. 

Chris, who now lives in Stirlingshire, and Katie decided to take on this challenge after witnessing the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Holy Land and wanted to support the innocent people caught up in the conflict. 

Chris and Katie, along with Chris’ partner Allan McNeill in the support vehicle with dogs Abbie and Hector will set out on the grueling 435-mile journey on Friday, 21 June and hope to arrive in Kirkwall the following Wednesday. 

They have been training for months but this has not been without its challenges.  

Chris said:

We had lots of joint cycles until around Easter but then Katie moved to London and then we’ve had to solo train which has been harder. We are both still trying to get out as often as possible, using Peloton, the gym and walking lots to strengthen the legs. 

“It’s not so much the distance – just under a hundred miles a day – but the fact we will be on the ground for five days in a row that might be challenging. 

“I am most looking forward to having the time to see Scotland from a bike, quieter roads, beautiful scenery and some time with my pal.  And a pub, any pub, in Orkney!” 

Chris, who works at City of Glasgow College, has spent time in Palestine and has seen the suffering for himself. The pair hope to raise a total of £5,000 for SCIAF’s appeal. Weather-wise they are hoping for dry and cool and hope the midges will be kind to them. 

“Either that or we will be going too fast for them,” said Chris. 

SCIAF’s work is only made possible due to the incredible generosity of our supporters in communities across Scotland. Our work to support our brothers and sisters only happens from loving donations such as this. 

The SCIAF Holy Land appeal mobilises funds in support of activities carried out by Caritas Jerusalem and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) within the Gaza strip, including food aid, cash, hygiene items and psychosocial support. It is one of the most challenging humanitarian environments in which our partners work. Continual support and awareness of their work by such fundraising efforts are very much appreciated. 

If you would like to support Chris and Katie, please visit their JustGiving page.

Finally, Chris said:

“To the people who have already supported our sponsored cycle - thanks for the encouragement! Also, thank you Allan, who will be travelling north with us to support. He’s also agreed to tow us along if required!”  

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