Daughters inspire Fareham dad to cycle for victims of Paris terror attacks
A DAD has raised thousands of pounds for the victims of the Paris terror attacks with a charity cycle ride.
Mark West completed the 300-mile journey from London to Paris and has raised more than £6,000 for the people affected by November’s attacks.
The 36-year-old was inspired to do the ride after his daughters wanted to help the victims.
He said: ‘When the attacks happened in November, my daughter Brooke came home from school and was quiet. She said we lived in a horrible world and I thought she was being bullied.
‘At her school they had been talking about the Paris attacks and a knock-on effect of the attacks was that some children had been left without parents.
‘Brooke was really upset that there were people in the world who could do this sort of thing. She said she didn’t know people could be so cruel.’
Brooke, 10, and her older sister Chloe, 13, decided they wanted to help and send money to the children made orphans by the attacks.
They suggested Mark, from Fareham, completed a cycle ride to Paris.
After weeks of training, Mark set off from London and finished in Paris after 23 hours and 27 minutes – he had hoped to complete it within 24 hours.
He added: ‘It was really difficult.
‘It was one of the hardest things I have done since leaving the forces.
‘For the last 90 miles I could not keep any liquid down and kept being sick where I was so dehydrated. I could have given up then but I forced myself to carry on.
‘While my mind was still able to do it, I forced my body to carry on.
‘It was one of the best but toughest things I have ever had to do. It was a great route though, with lots of scenery.’
The money raised will be donated to the Red Cross.
But after completing his challenge, Mark has been inspired to start his own charity and continue raising money.
Brooke and Chloe also want to help and get hands-on with the charity.
Mark said: ‘My daughters have inspired me to want to do more.
‘When they first mentioned raising money, I was thinking cake sales or car washes but they wanted me to do the cycle ride.
‘Now, we want to do even more and I am setting up my own charity. They want to be involved more and eventually we hope to visit the people affected by the attacks’
Mark, who has been supported by employers Natures Way Foods, has set up a website, unitedcharityrides.org.