A TEAM from SP Energy Networks has cycled the equivalent distance from Middlewich to Madrid to raise more than £5,000 for a children’s charity.

Riders conquered the mammoth 1,150 mile challenge by peddling continuously for more than three days to fundraise for The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT), which provides vital support for terminally ill, disabled and disadvantaged youngsters aged 17 and under.

The money raised will treat 240 children to a special Christmas party.

The electrical network operator’s employees completed the 73-hour marathon in under a week, with the team taking stints on an exercise bike around-the-clock to make it to Madrid and ScottishPower’s parent company Iberdrola’s Spanish roots.

The needs of the children CAFT help are complex and range from severe physical and learning disabilities, sensory impairments and terminal illnesses through to children who act as a carer for family members or who have suffered bereavement or abuse.

A visit to the farm offers them the opportunity to have fun and simply enjoy being children. CAFT’s activity play specialists provide fun and engaging activities which include games in the sports hall with an inflatable slide, playtime in the games room as well as time in the music and sensory room.

Tom Walsh, general manager of SP Energy Networks’ Mid Cheshire District, said: “Through our work as network operator, we put our local community first so it’s been fantastic to get even more involved with the community through this fundraising effort.

“I’m immensely proud of the team, with everyone taking their turn on the bike no matter their level of fitness, so it’s amazing to see our efforts being rewarded with the target being smashed.

“CAFT is an amazing charity and we’re thrilled that we’ve been able to raise such a substantial amount for them which will enable brilliant benefits for children across the North West. On behalf of the SP Energy Networks team I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored us.”

Ian Eccles, chief executive at CAFT, said: “We’re so grateful to the wonderful teams over at SP Energy Networks for their amazing support of our charity, they’re all amazing! This was such a huge challenge and one which they rose to with their usual energy and enthusiasm.

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“Their staff have taken part in number of CAFT events in the time they have been supporting our charity, including entering teams in our fun It’s a Knockout competition, attending our Christmas Grand Ball event and climbing Snowdon at Night.

“We really can’t thank everyone enough, their hard work is helping us to make a massive difference in the lives of ill, disabled and disadvantaged children from the North West this Christmas. They’ll be providing these children with memories of Christmas that will stay with them forever.”

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales, North Shropshire and Southern and Central Scotland. For more information about SP Energy Networks and its services, visit: spenergynetworks.co.uk