Pedal power boosts charity

Buxton's Natasha Bower, who cycled from London to Paris on a gruelling 350 mile bike ride in aid of the town's Samaritans. Photo contributed.
Buxton's Natasha Bower, who cycled from London to Paris on a gruelling 350 mile bike ride in aid of the town's Samaritans. Photo contributed.
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Cheering crowds welcomed Buxton charity cyclist Natasha Bower to Paris at the end of a gruelling 350 mile bike ride in aid of the town’s Samaritans.

Natasha was among a group of 140 riders who completed the trip from London in a record three and a half days. She entered the event to raise money for Buxton and High Peak Samaritans, for whom she has been volunteering for the last five years.

“We had a police escort when we arrived at the Champs Elysee and the Arc de Triomphe,” said Natasha, who is a deputy administrative officer at the University of Derby Buxton.

“The crowd was just going nuts. They stopped all the traffic and everybody was cheering. It was such a surreal experience.”

And Paris lived up to its romantic reputation: waiting under the Eiffel Tower at the finishing line was her husband Mike.

The Samaritans’ volunteers help a wide range of people – and the support they give has never been needed more. Tough economic times have brought extra demand for the Samaritans’ help, and the Buxton office needs the money raised to create a new shift of listening volunteers, as well as people to hold face-to face meetings for those who prefer that.

There’s still time to support Natasha by visiting www.doitforcharity.com/natashabower.