Linlithgow man's Land's End to John O'Groats cycle for local substance misuse charity

A retired legal advisor for an accountancy firm has cycled the length of Britain to raise money for a local charity close to his heart.

Malcolm Hughes (62) from Linlithgow completed the mammoth challenge of cycling nearly 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats during the recent heatwave that hit the UK, to raise funds for First Step, a charitable organisation based in Linlithgow which provides support services for individuals who are affected by alcohol and other substance misuse.

He said: “It was rather challenging, especially during the extreme heat at the beginning. However, the knowledge that I was raising funds for First Step did provide me with added motivation during the more difficult stages.

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"Since I retired earlier this year, I've had more time to devote to my enthusiasm for cycling, and finally got to fulfill an ambition to cycle from Land’s End to John O'Groat.

"Given that this is not an insignificant challenge, I thought that if I were to try and raise some funds for a good cause it would provide added motivation to help me through each of the 10 days to cycle 970 miles.

"It took a couple of days to get into it, I hadn’t realised how hilly Cornwall and Devon are, but after that my fitness built up very quickly.

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"And with the hot spell, you just had to make sure you took on plenty of water.

"All in all it was a great experience and I was just glad it was for such a good cause.”

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Malcolm Hughes from Linlithgow cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Malcolm, a Linlithgow Athletics Club member for 30 years, took part in the charity cycle with three friends as part of a larger organised group of 20 people.

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Having already met his fundraising target of £1,000, Malcolm still hopes to raise more money for First Step.

He said: "I have been involved with First Step for several years. It aims to relieve the suffering and disadvantages caused by addictions.

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"As well as running a community cafe and supporting a peer-led recovery meeting, First Step has established a workshop which houses First Step Bikes, offering bike refurbishment training programmes so that individuals in recovery can start to learn new skills, make wider social connections, and work towards rebuilding their lives.”

Malcolm approaching the top of the Lecht summit in the Cairngorms near the ski centre.
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Malcolm took a short stop for this photo during his Land's End to John O'Groats cycle.