Five intrepid Furniture Makers are cycling from Axminster to London this month as part of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Step 2 It campaign.

The ride, which is being organised by the South West Region of The Furniture Makers’ Company, will see the team cycle 200 miles across three days, starting in Axminster on Friday 18 June and arriving at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London on Sunday 20 June.

The riders taking part are Ben Burbidge, Hayden Davies, Peter Hooper, Alan Styles and Paul von der Heyde, with David Dewing driving the support van. Ben, David, Hayden and Paul are all Past Masters of the Furniture Makers, Alan is CEO of Axminster Tools and a corporate liveryman and Peter is an experienced long-distance cyclist.

The route will follow minor roads passing Yeovil, Salisbury, Farnham and Kingston, with two overnight stops near Salisbury and Godalming.

The group hope to raise £7,500 from the challenge and are well on the way having so far raised two-thirds of their target.

Step 2 It is the new 12-month campaign from The Furniture Makers’ Company that aims to inspire companies and individuals in the UK furnishing industry to organise sports-based fundraisers in aid of the charity and help raise £250,000, which will be used to support those in the trade struggling with financial hardship.

Alan Styles, who is deputy chairman of the South West region, said: “We’ve been supplying tools to the furniture industry for nearly 50 years. As corporate members of The Furniture Makers’ Company, we do all we can to support, promote and connect the industry.

“The past 12 months have been difficult for many so when the Master set the Step 2 It challenge to raise money to go towards welfare, I was keen to be involved. A group of us, including three past masters, are taking a leisurely ride from Axminster to London over three days and are looking forward to every mile of it. Little did I know this time last year that my next trip to London would be by bicycle. We are confident of raising a good amount of money, as well as creating some great awareness for our charity and what it does to help.”

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