A TEAM cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats has raised thousands for charity.

The Smilers’ End to End team from Ashley Heath were raising money for both the Bournemouth Heart Club and St James’ Place Foundation.

One of the team, Andy Hoggins said: “After suffering a heart attack in 2004 aged 44, I felt that it was about time I tried to raise funds for the Bournemouth Heart Club which has provided me with fantastic rehabilitative support and raised my fitness level.

“I took the plunge and decided to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End together with my friends and neighbours Mike, Graham and Shaun.”

Shaun added: “I knew we would be in it together and help each other through the good times and the hard times.

“The guys will agree that it was an epic journey from start to finish. The one thing you cannot fight against is Mother Nature and at times we felt we had had enough. The wind and the rain can grind you down and down until you feel you can’t go any further.

“However, we managed to keep going day by day, stage by stage, section by section from the longer, higher, rolling terrain of the north and west coast through to the lower but more repeated and relentless hills of Devon and Cornwall until the end was in sight.”

The Bournemouth Heart Club helps residents of East Dorset and West Hampshire and surrounding areas through a team of dedicated health and fitness professionals to recover after major cardiac events and procedures.

The St James’s Place Foundation supports hundreds of carefully selected projects in the UK and abroad mainly providing support to children and young people affected by illness, disability or disadvantage.

The team were supported during their challenge by Robin Peirce and John Hill and financially from Drusilla’s Inn, Flack Manor Brewery, P&S Gough Properties and the Friends of the Ringwood Medical Practice.

To support them go to smilersendtoend.wordpress.com/fundraising.