Members of Ashfield Rugby Club are pulling out all the stops to help disadvantaged youngsters get a better start in life.
Four cyclists from the club intend to raise £20,000 for a very good cause during a 1,000 mile bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Les Littlewood Daniel Littlewood, James Taylor and Martin Hibbert set of on their marathon cycle ride on Saturday.
As we went to press the cyclists were on day three of the ride, having completed 225 miles.
Les Littlewood said: “We’ve had three good days and we are in fine fettle.”
The marathon effort is in aid of First Point, a not for profit organization focused on developing disaffected children and young adults, based at the club.
Brian Dobb, Ashfield RUFC secretary and youth development officer, works with the youngsters who are referred from their schools.
Brian said: “We work with students some who have been excluded from school, to try and show them a better way forward.
“We gain their trust and give them skills they need to help them find employment.
“We are trying to make them employable. I understand where they are coming from. I was like them when I was at school - I didn’t enjoy the school environment.”
First Point started through the club members teaching the youngsters how to play rugby.
“We started using our skills and contacts to help them even more. It just snowballed from there,” said Brian, 54.
This year First Point is working with year 11 pupils in conjunction with Kirkby kitchen manufacturers Charles Yorke, to give them a taste of the working environment.
“Club member and managing director Mark Denman set things up so we can take youngsters into the factory and show them what it is all about,” said Brian.
“They work closely with members of staff using the machines. We are hoping it gives them confidence to gain skills to get a job.”
Brian, who worked as a slaughterman for over 20 years took the teenagers on a visit to Bakewell Castle Market.
He said: “I explained everything to them about the auctions and it all began to make sense to them. They had never seen anything like it”.
As part of the mentoring process Brian has taken youngsters on trips to the countryside and is teaching them how to build bird boxes.
He dded: “All this costs money and we are grateful for any funds we can raise to make First Point even better.”
Anyone wanting to sponsor the marathon cycle, visit www.everyclick.com/ashfieldrugbyclub
caption: Members of Ashfield Rugby Club having a well-earned pint during training for their 1,000 mile cycle.