Five cyclists who braved the elements and rode 200 miles from Axminster to London across three days have smashed their fundraising target and raised around £12,000 for The Furniture Makers’ Company’s Step 2 It campaign. The ride, which was organised by the South West Region of The Furniture Makers' Company, started in Axminster on Friday 18 June, with the team having overnight stays in Salisbury and Godalming, and arriving at Furniture Makers' Hall, London on Sunday 20 June at 1pm.

A small welcoming party, including the Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, David Woodward, cheered the cyclists as they pedalled into Austin Friars, greeting them with a glass of champagne and celebratory lunch. The cyclists that took part were 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 Managing Director of Axminster Tools and a corporate liveryman, and Peter is an experienced long-distance cyclist. The group had initially set themselves the target of raising £7,500 for the charity but upped their goal to £10,000 just prior to the challenge. Their total currently stands at £11,800 and donations are still coming in and will be accepted for a further month.

Axminster Tools MD Alan Styles, also a silver sponsor of the Step 2 It campaign, said: “When saying 'yes', the ride seemed like a daunting prospect but the amount raised, the group and the support, were amazing. Despite raining for most of the first day, we had lots of fun, covered many miles and the route was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who supported us do something towards the fantastic Step 2 It campaign. We're all exceptionally pleased with the amount raised and the awareness it’s created.”

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. David Woodward, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “It was a great pleasure to be at the hall to welcome and congratulate the gallant cyclists on their record-breaking achievement. Their magnificent contribution to the Step 2 It campaign will enable the charity to reach out to more industry colleagues who need our support. I hope it inspires others to support the campaign by donating or organising their own event.”

For updates on the challenge or to donate, click here.