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Wiggans “extreme-ly” good deed
Monday 23rd August, 2010

Wiggans “extreme-ly” good deed
Andy Wiggans on his bike

FOR someone who enjoys an occasional Sunday bike ride Andy Wiggans has set his sights very high in a bid to raise money for charity.

In September the 61-year-old from Preston will take on one of the world’s most extreme bike rides from Lhasa to Khatmandu, scaling mountain passes exceeding 14,500 feet.

His Tibetan journey will see him peddle across the Friendship Highway to the vast ‘Roof Of The World' and through Everest Base Camp on a 20 day endurance trek.

Andy, chair of board of trustees for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust,
said: “This is the realisation of a boyhood dream and the re-kindling of that sense of wonderment. I’m not super fit, I’m not a mad keen cyclist and I’ve not been overly training because this test will be all about the altitude and I’ll not know how I’ll cope until I’ve acclimatized."

As an incentive to help him over the mountains Andy is trying to raise money for two charities close to his heart – Manchester based Mines Advisory Group and Wigan based DIAS (Drop In And Share) - which supports people affected by domestic violence.

Andy said: “When I heard DIAS’s funding for their work counselling children and young people caught up in domestic violence would soon end I knew I had to do something.
“I had a similar experience as a child so this is a very personal mission for me to help them raise money.”

DIAS opened in Wigan town centre in 1994 as a counselling service for both men and women caught up in abusive relationships.

In 2000 the charity expanded its service to include children and young people.

Maureen Burgess is the Director of Service for DIAS. She said:
“Currently this part of our service will cease on September 30 due to the loss of funding from Wigan Council. During the past 10 years we have responded to many hundreds of local children and together achieved amazing results. Children have made tremendous progress with improved health, truancy rates reduced and educational achievements improved.”

Manchester based Mines Advisory Group is a humanitarian organisation that clears the remnants of conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide.

Andy Wiggans will set off from Lhasa on Saturday September 18. To make a donation please send a cheque to Andy Wiggans C/O DIAS Address or email andrewwiggans@o2.co.uk for further details.

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