There’s a challenge and then there’s a challenge. Local businessman, Darren Bradbury, is currently in training for the biggest challenge of his life to date, as he plans to cycle 700 miles in 7 days to raise money for Menphys.

Not only that but he set himself the huge massive target of raising £20,000, which along with money raised from his previous fundraising would take his total to £50,000 raised for Menphys. Every penny raised will go to support the work that Menphys do for disabled children and their families in Leicestershire.

As the challenge edges ever closer, we caught up with Darren to find out more about it.

Describe the challenge to us?

The ‘Vicious Cycle’ is a 700 mile cycling challenge in just 7 days. I’ll be covering Leicestershire, the hills of Derbyshire, the Pennines, Nottinghamshire, the wind and coasts of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and also Rutland!

What inspired you to do the challenge?

I’ve taken on one or two challenges to raise some money for Menphys over the last 2 years and challenges have raised a total of over £30,000 and have gone on to make a huge difference to so many deserving families. That being said, there’s always been a feeling of unfinished business, one last itch to scratch so to speak

So I turned 50 in February this year and I just thought let’s try and raise another £20,000 to take my fundraising to £50,000.

Why did you choose Menphys?

I volunteered to deliver some Christmas presents to the children in 2021 and the reactions of the children to the smallest of presents just melted my heart. I immediately went home and got my wife and own kids to come and help and it was like someone had flicked a switch! I knew I had to do something to help.

How hard has the training been?

The training has been awful to be honest, anyone who knows me, knows I’m not an athlete.

The amazing Julie Hayton and Function Jigsaw have been helping me with PT sessions and massages every single week and then the big rides come at the weekend. It really has been relentless. All this whilst doing my day job!

It’s comfortably the hardest thing I have ever done.

What will the money raised go to?

The money raised will go towards providing new sport and activity clubs for young people with disabilities and additional needs across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

These clubs will include football, basketball, cricket, multi-sports and a wide range of activities including art and music.

It costs roughly £11,000 a year to fund one club for up to 15 young people. But provides life changing opportunities, not only to accessing sport and physical wellness but the clubs also help form new friendships and provide much needed respite for families.

How hard has it been compared to other challenges you’ve set yourself before?

The other challenges just don’t compare, this is harder and longer then anything I’ve done before. It’s not all about the 7 days of the actual challenge itself, people just don’t realise the training that has to go into getting me where I need to be ready for when I start in August 27th

For those who have yet to donate, tell us about the raffle?

The raffle is just amazing, it started with 5 or 6 prizes and it’s just snowballed, it’s amazing!! Honestly, the prizes are just fantastic, 2 all expenses paid tickets in the TML Leicester Tigers Super Box, an Air fryer, a set of Airpods, 2 tickets to a Leicester City match, to name just a few. So many amazing people and companies have stepped up to donate prizes. The great news is, it just takes one £10 donation to the challenge and you automatically have a ticket and a chance to win! £20 – 2 tickets etc. Just donate during August to go into the draw. 

What will you do once the challenge is completed?

I’m back to work on the Monday!! 

How can people support you?

Donations!! Please please please donate whatever you can! This money will make a difference to so many children and families.

You can donate to Darren’s fundraising (and enter yourself into the raffle) by visiting his JustGiving page