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Pair get on their bikes for Gaza

4 July 2024

Chris cycle 5

Two friends got on their bikes this week for their favourite charity SCIAF, raising over £5,000 to help people caught up in the war in Gaza.

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

Chris, who now lives in Kippen, 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 were supported by Chris’ partner Allan McNeill in a support vehicle with dogs Abbie and Hector on their trip which lasted from Friday until Wednesday.

Chris said:

“We are so delighted to have exceeded our target of £5,000. This includes about £1500 from parishioners at the Immaculate Conception in Maryhill who held a collection. Fr Jim has been great in his support as usual and the challenge is getting a lot of support on social media too.

“The cycle was magnificent, neither of us can really believe that we have managed to cycle from one end of Scotland to the other.  The scenery throughout the ride was stunning but the second last day from Dingwall to Bettyhill was outstanding.  We could cycle for miles without encountering a car (or other cyclists) and the views across the Dornoch Firth and further north along the coast where breath-taking.

“We were incredibly lucky with the weather with the only rain along the route being between Aberfoyle and Callendar but that did distract us from the really steep climb and rough road surface!” 

Chris, who works at City of Glasgow College, has spent time in Palestine and has seen the suffering for himself.

SCIAF’s work is only made possible due to the incredible generosity of our supporters in communities across Scotland.

Michael Hamilton, SCIAF’s Community Engagement Officer said:

“Our supporters and communities across Scotland are at the heart of our work and are so vital in enabling us to help our brothers and sisters across the world. Thank you so much to Katie and Chris for giving their time and energy through this amazing challenge and to all those who have donated in supporting this emergency appeal. By taking this action, they will help SCIAF and our partners deliver aid to many people whose lives have been devastated in Gaza.”

Finally, Chris said:

Thank you to everyone for their sponsorship, I’m not sure I’ll be signing up to something as crazy as this any time soon but never say never!”

Chris cycle 1
Chris cycle 2
Chris cycle 4


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